Popular New York Times bestselling author, evangelist and motivational speaker, Nick Vujicic releases "Stand Strong" April 15, where he writes about the bullying epidemic affecting one in six American children today. He's more familiar than most with the nightmares, stomach aches and sense of hopelessness bullies cause when a child is "different."
Since Nick is the "poster child" for different, there's no better spokesman. Born without arms and legs "for reasons never determined," Nick hop-walks with one small fin-like flipper. However, when he was a child confined to a wheelchair, he felt intimidated, insecure and depressed because he was a "bully magnet and a "bully's dream."
Raised in a loving, supportive, Christian family who didn't allow self-pity, Nick learned personal responsibility at an early age. In spite of disabilities his parents gave him assigned chores and encouraged him "to do it for himself" if possible. "They didn't cut me any slack because I lacked limbs," he writes. Instead he was taught to clean his room, brush his teeth, dress himself and even vacuum his room.
However, once he left the shelter of his loving and supportive family for the "hallways and playgrounds of elementary school," he felt he had "a target on his chest that said, 'Bullies, aim here.'" Even though he tried to fit in the hurtful taunts, jokes and ridicule made him question God and why He created him with "so many imperfections."
By age ten, Nick saw no future for himself and attempted suicide in a bathtub full of water. He flipped over, face down in the water, until visions of the pain he would cause his family rolled him over, spitting and sputtering . "That's when he knew suicide wasn't an option," he writes.
Today, Nick is married to a beautiful woman and father to a strong and healthy son and he's no longer a "bully's dream." Instead he's learned "to handle bullies by controlling how he responds to them," one he adopted as his "personal mission" in life.
Nick kicked off his anti-bullying campaign in Salt Lake City, Utah, 2013 with a message of hope about attitude, "if you don't get a miracle, you can still be a miracle." That sense of hope is contained in the pages of "Stand Strong" that teaches how to build a "bully defense system" from the inside out.
If you feel like a bully's target, lonely, defenseless and without hope, learn from one who's been there. Who developed "anti-bully antibodies" with an encouraging, doable, "bully defense system" he teaches to others and writes about in this book. Because, "No bully can define who you are" if you do that for yourself.
This should be a must read book in every school, from elementary through college, from parents to school administrators.
'Stand Strong: You Can Overcome Bullying,' by Nick Vujicic, WaterBrook Press—releases April 15, 2014, Hardcover, 124 Pages, 978-0307730930, $17.99
Midwest Book Reviews: April 2014
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