A week ago, I was browsing at the bookstore when “Give Me a Hug” caught my eye. It was the charming illustration on the cover that first drew me in. Taking a closer look, I recognized the man on the cover as Nick Vujicic, the motivational speaker who visited Singapore at the beginning of September.
For those who are not familiar with the name, Nick Vujicic is a man with an amazing personality who lives his life to the fullest. He swims, golfs, plays soccer, and sky-dives. Nothing special, you might think. But Nick was born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a condition characterised by the absence of all four limbs (yes, you read it correctly, all four limbs are missing)
As the title suggests, the book is based on Nick’s life. In each of the 8 chapters, Nick starts by recounting an episode in his life, followed by a summary of the life lesson to be learnt at the end of each chapter. Since the book is targeted at children, the language used is simple, with plenty of illustrations scattered throughout the pages. Love is a recurring theme throughout the book, and positivity radiates from the pages. The lessons learnt include the importance of empathy, perseverance in the face of failure, dealing with bullies in school, and making the correct choices in life.
C found it an easy and enjoyable read. When we discussed the story, I realized that she didn’t know Nick was a real person. She couldn’t imagine someone living with no arms or legs. After showing a Youtube video of Nick swimming and playing soccer, she was first fascinated, then in awe. Days after we read the book, C has forgotten Nick’s name, but she still remembers “the man with no arms and no legs”.
I bought this book with C in mind. I found that the incidents highlighted in the book were age appropriate and easy for C to relate to. Although the book was meant for children, I found it to be an inspiring read even for adults. As a parent, there were important lessons to be learnt too! Nick’s example showed me how important the parents’ love is – it is the foundation upon which the child builds his confidence to surmount the difficulties in life.
It is definitely a book worth reading. I’m sure you’ll be as inspired by Nick as much as both of us were.
Were there any books that inspired you recently?
Note: Various translations of this book are available in Asia (Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore). In Singapore, the Chinese version 拥抱力克 is also available at Popular and Kinokuniya bookstores. Kinokuniya offers international shipping.