Last week I had the opportunity to hear Nick Vujicic at an event for the Friendship Circle. If you don’t know who he is, Nick Vujicic is a man who has no limbs at all. He was born this way, but despite his challenges, he is freer inside than most people. I so relate to his struggles though mine have been different in many ways. Still, key challenges have been identical.
How do you find peace with faith? How do you accept the situation and stop the sorrow? How do you overcome limitations? How do you deal with other people who stare, or don’t know you’re normal inside?
It is more a decision to live fully than anything else. Nick had a tough time as a kid. So did I. He had to fight to get an education in school. So did I. With no limbs, independence is impossible. With severe autism, independence is impossible too. But he learned that the road to freedom is not in having no challenges, it is making the most of the reality life has dealt you. The life he got is harder than average, by loads, and he had to live bigger than normal to just keep up. He is not ashamed, embarrassed, or hiding. He lets people get comfortable with him. That is a great gift.
I had a chance to meet him briefly. He has a cool wheelchair that is tall. It brings him to eye level, more or less. I gave him my book. It inspired me a lot to meet a man who bravely lives life fully, and does good, important work, even though he might have given up. Giving up is the easy way to run from pain but he decided that his life had a higher purpose. He is a role model to many people who despair over much less.
For me, it is a great reminder to count my blessings and to remember that challenges are meant to be overcome.