The limbless inspiration Nick Vujicic delivered his first presentation in Vietnam on Wednesday evening and inspired a live audience and TV viewers with encouraging stories.
Vujicic opened his maiden show in Ho Chi Minh City, which was telecast live to millions on national channel VTV1, by saying “Xin chào Việt Nam!” (Hello, Vietnam!) in a struggling but passionate accent.
“It is my privilege to be here tonight,” Vujicic said, adding that he has “never come to a country of people who have been so excited for me to be there” like Vietnam after having given speeches in 46 countries around the world.
“This is my first time to Vietnam but not my last,” the strong-willed Serbian Australian asserted.
‘Be thankful for what we have today’
He told the crowd of around 2,500 people at a convention center in Phu Nhuan District that many people have asked him what the definition of disability is, and his answer has been living his full life with the undying support of his family over the years.
Vujicic said that fear is holding back many people in their life, whether it is "fear of what people think of you, fear of the future" or "fear of failing.”
But he is not a person who is disabled by fear, the man insisted.
Everyone has their own beauty no matter how they are, the father of a son said. “I want everyone to know whether you have a disability or not, we're all of equal value. You’re beautiful just the way that you are ... Your value is not determined on what you can or cannot do ... Everyone is different,” he said it in an assertive and inspiring voice to the audience that included more than twenty Vietnamese people with disabilities.
“You need to know that every day is a gift,” Vujicic said, “and yes, of course we can always wish that we had more but we must be thankful for what we have today … I can either be angry for what I don’t have or be thankful for what I do have.”
He recalled being helped to go to college by an Australian nonprofit in which people put money to provide support to people like him.
Then he said that he wants “Vietnamese people helping Vietnamese people” this way because “we can all do our part” and everyone "can be a miracle for someone else.”
‘I wished to have met at least one person like me’
Among the stimulating stories he told last night was when he met a little boy just like him seven years ago.
“We’re at a presentation and we got the father to bring up his child upon stage. He was less than two years old. He was looking up at me and I was looking down at him. And he was smiling and everyone was crying. Why? Because it was a miracle.
“You know there were times in my life where I wished things were different in my body. And when I was a child at school I only wished to have met at least one person like me. If I knew just one person like me then I would know that I’m not alone. That would have been a miracle.
“I can either be sad that I didn’t get that miracle or realize I can be that miracle now for this little boy.
“His mother hugged me and she was crying and crying. She said, ‘now I know there’s a greater purpose for my son’s life.’ And I told her that when he’s 6 years old I’ll go to his school.
“He went to school and he turned six years old last year. And he was getting teased at school. People were making fun of him. So I went to the school, and now he’s the coolest kid in his school.”
‘I nearly gave up’
Vujicic then moved on to tell two jokes he had made on passengers of a plane and one girl in her car some day in the past.
“One morning I dressed up as a pilot. Seriously. It was very funny. People were coming to the plane and then they saw me and I said, ‘Good morning!’ And I had my hat and my jacket on. I looked like a pilot,” he said.
He then managed to persuade the passengers to get on board the plane and acted as if he was going to fly it. They were amused then while some kids got surprised at the physical appearance of ‘the pilot.’
“So I tricked all these people,” Vujicic smilingly said.
The other story was about him being in a car and watched by another girl from her own car.
“When you see me from the outside of the car, you don’t see my whole body. All you see is my head,” the special man said.
“This girl from another car was looking at me. And I was looking at her … So she was looking at me and all she saw was my head. So I just did this (Moving his body so that his head seemed to turn around his body).”
“And she thought my head did a 360 degree turn, her face was like (showing his goggle-eyed and jaw-dropping face),” Vujicic said.
Then he said that he wants to inspire everyone with his own example: “When I was 10 years old I nearly gave up. I never thought I'll get a job. I never thought I'll get married. Not only am I married but now we have a baby boy. So never ever give up!"
Vujicic will give more speeches in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from now until May 25.
Nick Vujicic was born on December 4, 1982 in Melbourne, Australia with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterized by the absence of all four limbs.
He struggled mentally, emotionally and physically, but eventually came to terms with his disability.
The man has come to 47 countries, including Vietnam, to deliver over 2,000 motivational speeches about hope and finding meaning in life with a disability.
He authors inspirational books “Without Limits: Inspiration for a Ridiculously Good Life,” “Unstoppable – The Incredible Power of Faith in Action,” and “Limitless,” all of which have been translated into Vietnamese.
He married his fiancée, Kanae Miyahara, on February 12 last year and became father of a son on February 13 this year.