This was the first video I watched of Nick Vujicic which tells of his unique, sweet and somewhat surreal love story with his wife, Kanae Miyahara.
I'm Prince Charming with a couple of bits and pieces missing...
How can I ever find my princess?
How can I ever find my princess?
Go on, watch it now, I'll wait. I promise this will touch your heart and show you what true love is all about.
From that day onwards, this guy has become one of the greatest inspirations in my life and you know, you don't always get the chance to meet your inspiration in real life but I did. And I'm so very thankful for that.
Stand Strong - You can overcome bullying
I am a bully's dream, no doubt about it. No arms, no legs, no defense.
Back in Singapore for the eight time, Nick Vujicic held a press conference to promote his latest book, Stand Strong, that strives to help teens and adults fend off bullies and end the global bullying epidemic.
Born without arms and legs, Nick struggled not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as a child. He would hide in the bushes in school so that bullies could not find him, he started swearing and became foulmouthed Nick in an attempt to fit in, he would lie in bed at night tortured by thoughts of what he lacked and wondered why he was created with so many imperfections, and when he was at the age of ten, he finally attempted suicide.
|Photo of Nick Vujicic when he was young (Image credit)|
Parents naturally want their children to do well, but when a mother and father
give love and support only if their child is successful in their eyes, it is a form of bullying.
Even though I do not share the same religious belief as Nick - who writes passionately about his faith in the book, it was a good read and there were some positive takeaways for a parent like me. In fact, in the first chapter, I was struck by the line "It's sad to say, but parents can be bullies too". It then talks about how suicide is a major problem in Asia where teens are under strong pressure to excel in school and get the best paying jobs. While focusing on improving the faults of our children, we tend to neglect encouragement and praise for their achievements. It's easy for me to say it now, but I hope as my kids grow up, they can find their paths in life based on dreams, passion and happiness - not income and fame.
You can consider your life a do-it-yourself project when it comes to
creating your own happiness and self-esteem.
Every time Nick speaks, he radiates charm, poise, strength and most importantly - pure joy. That is one thing that draws me to him and likewise, I believe that happiness is a matter of choice, not fate or destiny. Stay Strong tells us that we can keep our emotions in check, that while we can't control how we feel, we can control how we act, that we can be vulnerable yet strong, that we have the ultimate power - the power to choose how we respond and how we live.
The book also talks about cyberbullying and provides a set of tips to prevent it, at the same time it encourages victims of bullying to help other victims and to have compassion for bullies, and last but not least, it reminds us as parents to instill the right values and attitudes in our children so that together, we can put a stop to bullying.
When asked about his son Kiyoshi (yes, Nick and Kanae have a beautiful one-year-old son!), Nick says "I don't care what he does or even if he wants to be a janitor when he grows up. I want him to be thankful for what he has and to do the best with what he has."
"You can't overcome a struggle if you don't face a struggle. So I'm not worried - I just want to do all I can to be the best daddy I can be."
Indeed, I absolutely have no doubt that he will be one totally awesome parent.
I am thankful that my girls and I had the chance to meet this inspiring daddy that morning and to Nick, thank you for motivating me to be a happier mum and for teaching my girls what it means to stand strong and never give up.
At the press conference, Nick also shared with us his three big announcements.
A video a day for 1,000 days
In an effort to reach out to more people online, Nick will put up a video every day - each about a minute long - for 1,000 days through 36 YouTube channels in different languages. Here's a look at the first in the Bullying series and you can find the rest of the clips here.
Movie in the making
A multi-million dollar film about Nick's life story is in the pipeline. His new production company, Ten Elephants Pictures, targets a 2015 release for the film and has sufficient budget for an A-list actor and director. Nicks shows his classic sense of humour and said “I’m not sure if I will be acting in it, or if they will use my body and CGI the actor’s head on.”
|Nick with son Kiyoshi in sling (Image credit)|
Love Without Limits
Lastly, he also announced a new book, titled Love Without Limits, which will be released here in December. Co-written by Nick and Kanae, it would give a peek into their romance and for the first time, Kanae's own life story. “If you’re inspired by me, I’m even more inspired by her,” said Nick. “What I’ve gone through is nothing compared to her." Seriously, I just can't wait to get my hands on this book.
|Nick and his happy family (Image credit: Left, right)|
Now, I hope you have been inspired by this post and for those of you who have been touched, here's something more for you. If you are keen to get a copy of Stand Strong, here's a giveaway whereby two lucky readers of A Happy Mum will be receiving this new book by Nick Vujicic.
To participate, comment in this blog post and and leave your name, email address and answer the question "How do you teach your child to stay strong when he/she encounters a bully?" This giveaway is open to all readers with a valid Singapore address for delivery. Indicate in the Rafflecopter widget that you have commented and to increase your chances of winning, follow the rest of the options. Best of luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: We attended the press conference held by Nick Vujicic on his new book, Stand Strong. A big thank you to Pansing for letting me bring the kids along (even though I was the only one) because that makes a huge difference to them, and to me, and I know this will go a long way to inspiring them to stand strong. A complimentary copy of the book was also received for review purpose. All opinions are my own.