The Man Without Arms Or LegsPosted: August 12, 2010
A few days ago, I was introduced to this man (not literally), that provided me with some much needed perspective. While I’d love to meet the man in person, I was instead shown the video below. Take a look.
Nick Vujicic was born without arms or legs. While this might seem a great disadvantage to just about all of us who are lucky enough to possess all of our limbs, Nick seems to have done very well for himself. In the video, you can see him swimming, diving, fishing, sailing, and even playing golf. More than that, he does it all with a smile.
Now, you may think I’m just being sappy. One astute Facebook commenter even pointed out that this man is guilty of shameless self-promotion. Nick has carved out a career as a public speaker, and talks about his experiences of growing up without arms and legs. Sure, you may say that the above video is contrived, and that the entire series (visit the website, there’s more) is just a ploy to get you to order his DVD, and to buy his t-shirts, but so what?
Some might (and have) argued that the whole ordeal is set up to make you feel sorry for the man, to make you buy his wares as a result. This is nothing new, and has been what some advertisers have been doing for decades. I think seeing things in such binary terms would be missing the point, however.
This doesn’t work, because Nick doesn’t feel sorry for himself. Sure, nature has dealt him a bad hand, but he’s acknowledged it, and dealt with it accordingly. He’s moved on, and as he confesses himself, is living a fuller life than most people twice his age. What he’s achieved is remarkable, and his commitment to share his secrets to living a happy life with everyone is beyond noble.
What perspective can the story offer us? We all complain, about most of everything. Big or small, each of our problems seem insurmountable at the best of times. It’s so easy to lose your perspective of things, and to lull yourself into a cycle of ire and apathy, where it’s just too easy to give up on life. At the end of the day, we all give good lives. We’re all (hopefully) healthy, and we all possess the necessary faculties to complain about things, but also to praise things. Why is it, then, that we have a tendency to err towards negativity? This, I think, is unproductive.
I would love it if everyone who read this was to smile, just once, but with conviction. Heck, you’ve just seen a man with no arms playing golf. Anything is possible.