Nick Vujicic was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs. He has no legs and arms, but his disability didn’t prevent him from becoming successful and, way more importantly, happy. He is a world-famous motivational speaker, deeply caring husband and loving father. He motivates and encourages people with disabilities from all over the world. In August, 2015 Nick and his wife welcomed their second baby boy.
He has sold millions of copies of his books on how to overcome helplessness and bullying and how to raise a happy child no matter if you are disabled or not. We here at Bright Sidetake our hat off to this incredibly strong and positive man and share some of his insightful and utterly motivational thoughts.
From early childhood, we should teach our boys and girls that there is nothing wrong with being different from other people.
We should explain to our children that friends can be different, too, and this is the beauty of diversity. This is exactly why we need each other. That is why I find it very important for all kids to study together — both children with physical disabilities and their non-disabled peers.
When kids communicate with each other, they learn how to communicate through their souls and they see with their hearts. Only this way they learn how to ignore the exterior and concentrate on the real you.
For example, my classmates eventually found out that I’m no ordinary disabled kid, but an open-minded, interesting person with a great sense of humor! I was president of my class in high school, and my parents have always encouraged me to communicate with my peers.
Overall, I’ve had positive experiences in communication with my schoolmates. Although I was bullied from time to time, it helped me build my very own bully defense system.
To build your bully defense system from the inside out, you should know the following:
1. Figure out who you are so no bully can tell you differently or make you feel badly;
2. Take responsibility for your own behavior and happiness so bullies have no ultimate power over you;
3. Establish strong values that no bully can shake;
4. Create a safety zone within yourself where you can go mentally to draw strength and comfort;
5. Build strong and supportive relationships that will stand up for you against bullies;
6. Learn to monitor and manage your responses to the emotions triggered by bullying;
7. Develop a spiritual foundation to help you be at peace and be strong against bullying;
8. Take the opportunity to learn from your bullying experience so that you can become stronger, wiser, more confident, more faith-filled, and more prepared to handle any challenges;
9. Create your bully defense strategy so you are prepared to handle bullies of all kinds;
10. Master empathy so you are aware of the needs of others and serve them whenever possible to help them overcome bullying.
If your child is still not very comfortable with taking these steps, help him or her get used to them. Together, you will be twice as strong and confident.
You should introduce your children to simple moral values; nobody can treat your children differently.
Perhaps, some of your child’s classmates will be confused if a boy with disabilities, instead of stepping aside, actively reaches out for friendship. When demonstrating a loving attitude instead of fear and panic, your child goes through emotionally difficult situations and thus gets wiser.
Your children should learn to become a source of joy for themselves.
Teach them to notice and enjoy even the smallest things in the world, such as a beautiful sunrise, mommy’s hugs and kisses or a puppy jumping around them when they come home. Teach them to acknowledge and appreciate their talents and natural gifts. Consider all these as long-term investments to their ‘life’s bank accounts.’ They will be able to ‘withdraw’ these positive emotions any time they feel down or when somebody’s trying to ruin their day.
Teach your children to be more patient.
Every time I got bullied by my classmates, I thought to myself there was no way out. It seemed to me that the nightmare I was going through would never end. The lack of hope and perspective only caused depression and despair. If I could have seen the future more clearly at that time, I wouldn’t have been suffering so much. But back then I just thought, ‘This guy will be torturing me my whole life!’ But patience would have said, ‘This too shall pass.’
Teach your children to accept and love themselves.
If a person is strong and confident, he somehow produces a special glow, and everybody feels it. Such a person becomes very attractive.
Generally, people just don’t know how to behave or what to say around people who are different from them in some ways. This is why it is very crucial to realize that we all have our problems and needs and it doesn’t really matter if one has arms and legs, or if his face is perfectly beautiful or not. We can become friends anyways.
The best piece of advice here is to be sincere, to be involved and to be eager to help.
Don’t respond with ‘I don’t need your help’ or ‘I don’t need anyone to help me.’ Try to explain to kids that you both need each other. Day by day, taking baby steps, you will get closer.
Parents shouldn’t hesitate to introduce their children to their disabled peers. Otherwise, there will always be a wall between them; healthy children will feel sorry or even ashamed of their friends who are different. On the contrary, all children should know that their ‘different’ friend might need a helping hand, and they should know how to do that.
The most important three little words that you should say to your children every single day are ‘I love you’.
I constantly repeat it during my lectures and seminars. People often cry when they think about it. But the truth is very simple: we seldom say such magical words, and we often try to hide our feelings. Just say it — ‘I love you.’ Repeat it millions of times, and your child will know that you love him and need him. It’s very important.