Sunday, 27 October 2013

INSPIRING LIVES -- NICK VUJICIC -- LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS

2013-39  Inspiring Lives -- Nick Vujicic -- Life without Limits


Nick Vujicic [1982- ]
[Imagine getting through your busy day without hands or feet. Picture your life without the ability to walk or care for even your basic needs. Read the success story of  Nicholas Vujicic (pronounced voo-yee-cheech), a personification of perseverance, who says, "No arms; No legs; No worries!" 

Nick gradually figured out how to live a full life without limbs. He writes with two toes on his left foot. He knows how to use a computer. He has also learned to throw tennis balls, play drum pedals, get a glass of water, comb his hair, brush his teeth, answer the phone and shave, in addition to participating in golf, swimming, soccer, and sky-diving.


Since his first speaking engagement at age 19, Nick has traveled around the world, sharing his story with millions, speaking to diverse groups such as students, teachers, young people, business professionals and church congregations of all sizes.

According to Nick, the victory over his struggles, as well as his strength and passion for life today, can be attributed to his faith in GodToday this dynamic young evangelist has accomplished more than most people achieve in a lifetime.]  


"Hi Friend,

My name is Nick Vujicic and I am thankful to have been born [1982] with no arms and no legs. I won’t pretend my life is easy, but through the love of my parents, loved ones, and faith in God, I have overcome my adversity and my life is now filled with joy and purpose. I reside now in California with my wife, Kanae, and we both love seeing people’s lives changed for the better or touched in some way. It is my hope that your life is positively impacted by my story.
I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, and it was a shock to my parents that I arrived without limbs. There is no medical reason for it. My parents did their very best to keep me in the mainstream school system and give me every opportunity to live to the fullest. I was blessed to have a brother and a sister as my best friends too.
We later moved to Brisbane, Australia, where I lived for 14 years before I made the move to California. At age eight, I could not see a bright future ahead and I became depressed. When I was ten years old, I decided to end my life by drowning myself in a bathtub. After a couple attempts, I realized that I did not want to leave my loved ones with the burden and guilt that would result from my suicide. I could not do that to them.
I wasn’t depressed my entire childhood, but I did have ups and downs. At age thirteen I hurt my foot, which I use for many things like typing, writing and swimming. That injury made me realize that I need to be more thankful for my abilities and less focused on my disabilities.
When I was fifteen years old, I sealed my faith in God and from there it has been an amazing journey.
A janitor at my high school inspired me to start speaking about my faith and overcoming adversity when I was seventeen. I spoke only a dozen times to very small groups over the next two years. Then I found myself in front of three hundred sophomore (grade 10) students and I was very nervous. My knees were shaking. Within the first three minutes of my talk, half the girls were crying, and most of the boys were struggling to hold their emotions together. One girl in particular was sobbing very hard. We all looked at her and she put her hand up. She said, “I am so sorry to interrupt, but can I come up and hug you?”
She came hugged me in front of everyone, and whispered in my ear, “Thank you, thank you, thank you. No one has ever told me that they loved me and that I am beautiful the way I am.”
Her gratitude inspired me to go across 44 countries and speak 2,000 times. I realized that we all need love and hope and that I was in a unique position to share that with people around the world.
While majoring in both accounting and financial planning at a university, I also worked on developing my abilities as a speaker. I worked with a speaking coach who helped to cultivate me as a presenter. He especially worked on my body language as my hands flew everywhere at first!
I spoke on motivational topics after creating the company, attitude is altitude. I also launched a non-profit ministry, life without limbs, to spread my messages of faith and hope around the world.
Whoever you are, wherever you’re from and whatever you are dealing with, I hope that you will be inspired by my story and my message. Please enjoy browsing around this website where I share with you my thoughts on faith, hope and love to encourage you and to help you overcome your own challenges.
Dream big my friend and never give up. We all make mistakes, but none of us are mistakes. Take one day at a time. Embrace the positive attitudes, perspectives, principles and truths I share, and you too will overcome.
Sincerely,
Nick
Two inspirational videos follow:

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Sunday, 20 October 2013

DON'T CRITICISE: THE TOYS - COVENTRY PATMORE

2013-38   Don't Criticise: The Toys - Coventry Patmore


Coventry Patmore [1823-1896]
   [ Coventry Patmore (1823–1896)
wa
s one of the least known but highly-regarded Victorian poets. He was also an English critic who had a deep concern for religion. A collected edition of Patmore's poems appeared in two volumes in 1886, with his characteristic preface: "I have written little; but it is all my best. I have never spoken when I had nothing to say, nor spared time or labour to make my words true. I have respected posterity; and I dare to hope that it will respect me."
The Angel in the House is considered to be his best poem. The Unknown Eros is full of exalted thought, expressed in poetry of the richest and most dignified melody.The homely but elevated pathos of "The Toys" therein, are unsurpassed in English poetry.] 

    My little Son, who look'd from thoughtful eyes 
And moved and spoke in quiet grown-up wise, 
Having my law the seventh time disobey'd, 
I struck him, and dismiss'd 
With hard words and unkiss'd,
—His Mother, who was patient, being dead.
Then, fearing lest his grief should hinder sleep, 
I visited his bed, 
But found him slumbering deep, 
With darken'd eyelids, and their lashes yet 
From his late sobbing wet. 
And I, with moan, 
Kissing away his tears, left others of my own; 
For, on a table drawn beside his head, 
He had put, within his reach, 
A box of counters and a red-vein'd stone, 
A piece of glass abraded by the beach, 
And six or seven shells, 
A bottle with bluebells, 
And two French copper coins, ranged there with careful art, 
To comfort his sad heart.

So when that night I pray'd 
To God, I wept, and said: 
Ah, when at last we lie with tranc├Ęd breath, 
Not vexing Thee in death, 
And Thou rememberest of what toys 
We made our joys, 
How weakly understood 
Thy great commanded good, 
Then, fatherly not less 
Than I whom Thou hast moulded from the clay, 
Thou'lt leave Thy wrath, and say, 
'I will be sorry for their childishness.' 

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Sunday, 13 October 2013

DON'T CRITICIZE: FATHER FORGETS - W LIVINGSTON LARNED



2013-37  Don't Criticise: Father Forgets - W Livingston Larned


[ I came across "Father Forgets" for the first time in 1962, when I was 20 years old. I read it in Dale Carnegie's HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE. It had a lasting impact on me.   
When I talked about it to my father who was my first and foremost teacher, he simply said, "Haven't you read THE TOYS by Coventry Patmore?" which I shall upload in my next post!]
To quote Dale Carnegie: "Bitter criticism caused the sensitive Thomas Hardy, one of the finest novelists ever to enrich English literature, to give up forever the writing of fiction. Benjamin Franklin, tactless in his youth, became so diplomatic, so adroit at handling people, that he was made American Ambassador to France. The secret of his success? "I will speak ill of no man," he said, "and speak all the good I know of everybody."
Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain - and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving. Often parents are tempted to criticize their children. Before they criticise, let them read one of the perennial classics, 'Father Forgets.'  It originally appeared as an editorial in the People's Home Journal and is reproduced here as condensed in the Reader's Digest:"



"Listen, son; I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

There are things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, "Goodbye, Daddy!" and I frowned, and said in reply, "Hold your shoulders back!"

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came Up the road, I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before you boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive - and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, form a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. "What is it you want?" I snapped.

You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding - this was my reward to your for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!
It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: "He is nothing buy a boy - a little boy!"

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother's arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much."





"Father Forgets" as read by Dale Carnegie:




Sunday, 6 October 2013

INSPIRATIONAL STORY: THE DAISY - HANS ANDERSEN

2013-36  Inspirational Story: The Daisy - Hans Christian Andersen


The Daisy "with gold in her heart and silver on her dress"


[I started reading Anderson’s Fairy Tales and Grimm’s FairyTales in my early ‘teens, having read Aesop’sFables earlier. If Hans Christian Anderson is considered the greatest story teller of all times, Brothers Grimm were the most famous for happy endings like “they lived happily ever after” which all children like.

“The Daisy” of Hans Anderson is one of his most poignant stories. The Daisy has been my ideal and I have drawn many lessons of life from it.  I present here only the opening of the story which gives it the appearance of a happy ending.  For the full story, please refer to The Complete Anderson].

"Now listen to this!

Out in the country, close by the side of the road, there stood a country house; you yourself have certainly seen many just like it. In front of it was a little flower garden, with a painted fence around it. Close by the fence, in the midst of the most beautiful green grass beside a ditch, there grew a little daisy.

The sun shone just as warmly and brightly on her as on the beautiful flowers inside the garden, and so she grew every hour. Until at last one morning she was in full bloom, with shining white petals spreading like rays around the little yellow sun in the center.

The daisy didn't think that she was a little despised flower that nobody would notice down there in the grass. No, indeed! She was a merry little daisy as she looked up at the warm sun and listened to the lark singing high in the sky.

Yes, the little daisy was as happy as if this were a grand holiday, yet it was only a Monday, and all the children were in school. While they sat on their benches, learning things, the daisy sat on her little green stalk and learned from the warm sun and everything about her just how good God is.

The daisy couldn't talk, but high above her the lark sang loudly and beautifully all the things that the little flower felt, and that made the daisy very glad.
The daisy looked up at the happy bird who could sing and fly, but she wasn't envious because she couldn't do those fine things, too"I can see and hear," the daisy thought, "and the sun shines on me and the forest kisses me. How gifted I am!"

Inside the fence stood all the stiff, proud flowers, and the less scent they had the more they seemed to strut. The peonies blew themselves out and tried to make themselves bigger than the roses, but size alone isn't enough. The tulips knew that they had the brightest colors, and held themselves very straight, so that they could be seen more plainly.

None of them noticed the little daisy outside, but the daisy could see them and thought, "How rich and beautiful they are! I am sure the pretty lark flies across to them and visits them. Thank God that I stand close enough so that I can see them!"

But just as she thought that – keevit -- down came the lark! But he didn't come down to the peonies or the tulips! No, indeed, he flew right down into the grass to the poor daisy, who was so overjoyed that she didn't know what to think.

The little bird danced around the daisy and sang, "How soft the grass is here, and what a lovely little flower! With gold in her heart and silver on her dress!" You see, the yellow heart of the daisy looked like gold, and the little petals around it were silvery white.

How happy the little daisy was no one can conceive. The bird kissed her with his beak, sang to her, and then flew up again-into the bright, blue air. It was at least a quarter of an hour before the daisy could recover from her joy!

Then, almost ashamed, yet sincerely happy, she peeped over at the flowers in the garden, for they had seen the honor and happiness that had come to her, and would understand her joy. 


The Daisy by Hans Anderson in Youtube Audio: