By JASMINE NATASHA RAJAH
“If you are giving up and thinking that you can’t go through today’s obstacles, remind yourself of your previous obstacles and how you wanted to give up so badly. But you didn’t! You went through it. Trust that you will go through today’s obstacle too.” – Nick Vujicic
TALK about luck! A group of twenty students from Monash University and Sunway University were chosen as slogan competition winners to meet Nick Vujicic, one of the most inspiring motivational speakers in the world!
Beating over 300 other participants, the winners were chosen based on the creativity and originality of their slogans.
Vujicic, who was on his Asian tour and managed to stop by Malaysia for a day, has been featured twice on talk show queen Oprah Winfrey’s programmes, and given over 2,000 speeches in six different continents! When you’ve been on Oprah and have inspired so many people across the globe, you know you are big!
However, Vujicic is no ordinary man. Despite being born with no limbs due to a rare condition known as tetra-amelia syndrome, he has continued to live life to the fullest and not let his disabilities get the best of him.
As one of the 20 winners of the contest, and one of four from Monash University, not only did I get to personally greet Vujicic at the airport and be the first group of students to meet him in Malaysia, but I also got tickets to attend his talk the next day in Sunway University, Selangor. It was all very exciting!
The best part is, after about two weeks of voting on Facebook, 10 of us were given another special treat – an intimate dinner with Vujicic! Another Monash student and I were fortunate enough to be part of that top 10.
Being around Vujicic at both the airport and dinner really helped us recognise just how humble and independent he is. Even though he needs help to move about and eat, he tries his very best to do whatever he can by himself without depending on others.
What I found most inspiring about him is that he makes us forget that he is “flawed”, by not dwelling on the things he doesn’t have and celebrating everything that he does have.
During the dinner and his talk, he frequently made jokes about the fact that he doesn’t have any limbs. Some might see it as a disability, but it can also be an ability because it has helped him see the world differently, allowing him to inspire others to think differently too.
During the talk, which was organised by the Sunway Education Group under the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation, he touched on various subjects, from having hope to achieve our dreams to overcoming suicidal tendencies.
He also spoke about coping with challenges and failures, bullying, and the importance of forgiveness.
“Not forgiving someone is like you drinking poison and hoping your enemy to die,” he said.
Those were wise words, which I, along with all the others who were at the talk, will cherish forever.
It was such a proud moment for me to be able to meet Vujicic, and even prouder still that I was able to represent my university. It was definitely an experience I wouldn’t have been able to get outside of university.
As students, we are given so many opportunities to experience new things and to be inspired. It is our job, apart from merely studying, to colour our lives with as many of these experiences and inspirations.