Here is the full transcript of Nick Vujicic’s Love Without Limits – Bully Talk
Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Nick Vujicic on Love Without Limits – Bully Talk
Nick Vujicic – Life Without Limbs
How you guys doing? Good, good good good good.
Well guys, I was born this way, and there’s no medical reason why that happened. My brother and my sister were born with arms and legs.
And sometimes in life, things happen that don’t make sense. My doctors never thought that I’d be able to walk, and today, I’m walking. I’m from Australia, anybody want to one day go to Australia? It’s such a cool place. And I now live in LA; I’m a Southern California boy. So I only live about four hours from here.
And today I’m going to tell you, man — I love freaking people out. One day I’m in a car, I’m in the front seat — I’m not driving of course. Can you imagine if I’m driving a car? They reckon they can put a joystick — that thing that controlls my wheelchair — we can put that in a car. Like how fully sick is that? Imagine if I get pulled over by the cops? Can I have your driver’s license please? Yeah, but, it’s over there; you’re going to have to get it.
Imagine if I’m in big trouble! Put your hands up! Uhhhh.. Get out of your car! Uhhhhh…
So I’m in the front passenger’s seat, we’re at the traffic lights, and this car comes up next to us and this girl’s looking at me. And I’m looking at her, she’s looking at me, I’m looking at her, she’s looking at me, I’m looking at her. All she sees is my head, right? She has no idea that I have no arms and no legs. So I’m thinking, cool. I’m going to freak you out.
So I get the seatbelt in my mouth, and I loosen it like this, so that I can freely move. And she’s looking at me like “why are you eating your seatbelt?’ So I pull it, the belt is loose, I can move.
Now she’s looking at me, full 100% attention and focus. And just imagine all you see is my head, all right? You might want to put up your hand to your face to cut off the rest of my body. So you can really see the effect, so…That’s it, exactly.
Here we go, ready? I just did this. And her face, man. She was like — she nearly ran the red light, man. It was so good.
My parents always said, Nick, you don’t know what you can achieve until you try it. And the doctors looked at me and said, he’s not going to walk, he’s not going to go to school, he’s not going to do anything in his life.
And then my parents; they just loved me like crazy, and said you’ve got to try. Try this, try that, try this, try that, and I’m thinking sometimes, like, Mom and Dad, you’re crazy, I have no arms and no legs. How would I ever be able to do this or do that?
But they encouraged me, and they loved me. And as human beings, we’re waiting for stuff like that, we all want love. Everybody say it — loooooove. Very good.
We all want love. I went to school, and I wanted to be cool, you know. You go to school and you want to be accepted. So, you see these guys, and you’re like, oh man, you know? Everyone swears, like every third sentence. F this, and F that, and F’n this, and F F, like, what, they think they’re cool, you know. And so I’m thinking, maybe I need to be like them to be cool.
And then you compare each other with how we look and I wish I was smarter, I wish I was taller, I wish I was shorter, I wish I was more popular, I wish I did this, I wish I didn’t have that. I wish my life was different. That was me when I was about 8 years old; I looked at myself, and I looked at everybody else, and everyone else had more than me. And I’m asking, why? Why me? Have you ever asked the why me questions, but get nowhere?
If I had no answers from the doctors, and if I had no answers from my parents, I still have a choice, every day in my life, to keep going or give up. You see this book up here? This is my favorite book in the whole wide world. This is my favorite book, the bible. And here I am – and here I am, and for me, that’s my full potential in all that I can be here on earth. And so encouragement takes me closer to all that I can be, and discouragement takes me away.
You see, it only takes three seconds for someone to tease me when I was at school, and just say ewwwww, you’re ugly. Ewww, you can’t do this and you can’t do that. Some of you are thinking, like, man, seriously? You had kids picking on you? How heartless are those kids? Picking on me with no limbs? You would probably say, well, I’m not that bad. I wouldn’t pick on a kid with no limbs. But why would you pick on anyone? Well, because it’s fun, it’s just culture. OK, we’ll get to that.
But for me, facing all that stuff? I’m getting these seeds, everyone say seeds, S-E-E-D-S, seeds. Have you seen the pictures of the sequoia reds up here in California? These huge trees. Like some of the trunks could be nearly as big as this room. I’ve seen those photos where they’ve actually dug out a tunnel in a trunk of a tree — you can drive a full-size SUV right through it. That all started with a little seed.
If you leave a seed of lies in your heart and in your mind, and you don’t know the truth? If you don’t know the truth, you will die with the lie. I started dying, because I started believing what I was told.
I want you to know the three things that I needed to come to in my life is the truth of my values, the truth of my purpose, and the truth of my destiny. I want you to know something. In our mind, we put ourselves down all the time. I want to ask you today, do you think I’m cool enough to be your friend? But I don’t swear, I don’t use the F-bomb, am I still cool enough to be your friend? But I don’t tease people, am I still cool enough to be your friend? But I have no arms and no legs. Seriously.
You would be my friend, even though I have no arms, no legs. So you’re telling me it actually doesn’t matter, right? If it actually doesn’t matter, for how we look, then why do we tease one another for how we look if it actually doesn’t matter? Why is it that we look ourselves in the mirror, and we say, well, we’re having fun! Oh yeah, man it’s just part of culture, man.
There were twelve people one day teased me. Taking me away from my hope. 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Don’t worry, I won’t fall off, because if I did, I’d break my arm.
But twelve people teased me one day. And I can put a pretty brave face on but cry on the inside. For real. Oh, it doesn’t hurt! Yeah, it hurts. There was this one bully, I became his target for three weeks. And every time I’d go by him — I was 13, he was 17. I was in my chair. I’m only 4’9″ in my other chair, my old chair. He’s like 6′ something, so he’s huge, right? So I’m looking up at him, and every time I’d go by him, he’s like, “Hey, there’s Nick! He has no…” And you can imagine what he said. And I’m like, what’s his problem, man?
So I would try to avoid him, and I was so embarrassed, because he would say it really loud and everybody would be looking and some would be laughing. I’m like, what is this guy’s problem, man? So one day, after three weeks, I went up to him and I said, “Hey”.
He’s like, “Hey”.
And I said, “Can you please stop it?”
He said, “Stop what?”
I said “Stop teasing me”.
He said, “What are you talking about?”
I said, “Every time I walk by you say that stuff”.
He’s like, “What stuff?” He didn’t know how to take me on.
So I’m looking up at him and said, “No man. Every time I walk by, you say exactly this, and I want you to stop. I forgive you, but stop it”.
He’s like, “Oh, it’s not hurting you”.
Now, I could have said, “No,” or I could have said yeah. It takes a level of humility to actually say, um, actually, I don’t like that. It’s killing me. And I said, “Ah, yeah, it’s hurting me”.
He said, “All right, I’m sorry man. I was just, you know, playing around”.
I said, “Give me a hug”.
He said, “What?”
I said, “Give me a hug”.
He’s like, “All right”. So I gave him a hug. I’m a hugging machine. We made the Guinness Book of World Records: 1,749 hugs in one year. We did it last year — my arms fell off, all right? The scary thing about hugging so many people is that anyone can just pick me up and take me home. Like, what am I going to do, like, –hit them or something? Pretty mean head-butt, right?
I want you to know that you might be playing around. I can pretty much say that 98% of you have teased someone in your life. I tried to commit suicide because of people who thought they were having fun, not knowing the hell that I was going through. The people you’re teasing — what if the person you’re teasing is the person who’s thinking of committing suicide.
What if the person you’re teasing is the one who’s trying to commit suicide, who hates their life because of you? You don’t know if the person you are teasing is the son or daughter of a drunk at home getting abused. And all they need is someone like you to keep on pushing them this way.
We need hope, so find something else to do. Find positive things in your own life; I don’t care about how you look, I will never ever ever tease you. I will never tease you! I could tease you, I could be tough. People thinking that bullying is tough? It ain’t tough! My wheelchair? This is tough. This thing, man, I’ll tell you something — you ready?
This wheelchair. This thing’s so tough. When my friend built this for me, he said, you’re going to love it. I said what, does it go fast? He said no, but it’s tough. And I said, well, what do you mean? He said, you’ll find out.
The torque in these motors, at the bottom at the back. This thing. If someone’s holding it. I’m telling you, it can go 90 degrees. I went 80 degrees up, alright? Someone’s holding me to make sure I don’t tip back. My wife, she loves shopping with me, because she just jumps on the back, and we go shopping. She just shops and shops, because she doesn’t drop, right? We just go and do it; it’s fun.
Now what I tried one day to do — you’ll never believe me, maybe you will, just know that every word that comes out of my mouth is not an exaggeration.
One day, I needed to move a car. So I got my wife to put my car, my ’66 Chevelle, in neutral. It’s a two and a half ton car, and I backed it back with this thing. Two and a half — just this. Just like this, like nothing. This thing is tough. Guess what? The definition of tough means it’s strong. To show your strength, you need to do something that’s difficult. I would sound so stupid if I said hey guys, I got a matchbox car one day, and I got some fishing line, and I towed that matchbox car all around all day. How tough is my BMW? That’s stupid.
That’s the same thing with bullying. You think you’re tough? You’re trying to show your strength? That’s not your strength. Let me come back in ten years and let me get your three — anyone have a three year old nephew? Anyone have a three year old nephew? Cool. Put your hands down.
I will get any one of your three year old nephews, bring them tomorrow night at where I’m speaking, and we’re going to put them up on stage, and let me show you how tough I am. We’ll get your three year old nephew, and we’ll put him up here, on the table, and let me tease him. Let me show you how tough I am. That’s what you are! I could pick on you, you biggest bullies. I could pick on anything you like. Any singer, any music that you like. I could tease you, I could tease your family, I could tease your friends, I could tease about the movies you think are really cool, I could tease anything about you. I could tease you about your nose, your eyes, your teeth, your chin, your hair, your ears, your elbows, your knees, your whatever, man! I can tease you about anything. It ain’t hard, just like you can tease me.
You want to know what tough is? Go to the people you tease, and say sorry. You want to know what tough is, go up to the people who still tease you, and say, hey. Stop it, I forgive you, but please stop it. That’s tough.
I want you to know something, the truth of who you are. I don’t care what job you get. I don’t care. I don’t care how smart you are, everyone. I don’t care. I don’t care, I love you and I believe in you. I don’t care if you end up being a janitor in this school, I’ll tell you why – because the janitor in my high school inspired me to be a speaker. He changed my life. He said, you should be a speaker, you know, and I said, you’re crazy! He said no really, you need to be a speaker. I said, stop it man. Four months later, he twisted my arm, and I said yes. I spoke in front of ten people, then another ten, then another ten, then I found myself in front of 300 sophomore students. And three minutes into my speech, half the girls were crying, and one girl in the middle of the room started weeping. She put up her hand and said “I’m so sorry, can I come up there and give you a hug.” And in front of everybody, she came up and she hugged me, and she cried on my shoulder, and she whispered in this ear. Thank you, thank you, thank you, no one’s ever told me that they love me. No one’s ever told me that I’m beautiful the way that I am.
It was because my parents told me that I was beautiful that I am still here. Some of you don’t have those parents, and that’s why I’m here. I love you and you’re beautiful just the way you are. Never, ever give up.
How many schools do you think that I spoke to actually stopped bullying altogether? OK. Whoever said one, you are correct. One school out of 600, I got a letter from the headmaster, and he said Nick, you forever changed our school, blah blah blah. We haven’t seen any bullies pick on anybody for eight months straight. We don’t know what happened, but in the best words that I can describe, there’s just a new thought in the air that it just ain’t cool anymore. It just ain’t cool.
I want to ask you: What are you going to do? Are you going to continue on? At the risk of knowing that in each section, this section, right here, five people already tried to commit suicide. That section there? Five people. When you extrapolate it out? What if the person you’re teasing is one of those and you have no idea. Would you find something else to do?
So, the change is up to you. If you want to see more love in your school, be love. If 50% of the school come together and say you know what, it just ain’t cool anymore the people who think it’s still cool, every time they look down upon you, I want you to look up. I want you to imagine my face looking at you. Because I’m telling you, everyone you’re teasing is my brother and my sister. And you’re my brother, and you’re my sister. And I’m asking you to stop.
Love yourself a bit more, love each other a lot more.