Pre-Trial Conference (Criminal)
Case: Education Malpractice
Criminal Case Disclosure Conference PRINCE EA VS SCHOOL SYSTEM Court Records: Prince Ea: Albert Einstein once said, everybody’s a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, today on trial we have modern day schooling. Glad you could come. Not only does he make fish climb trees but also makes them climb down and do a ten mile run.
Tell me school, are you proud of the things you’ve done? Turning millions of people into robots, do you find that fun? Do you realize how many kids relate to that fish? Swimming upstream in class, never finding their gifts. Thinking they are stupid. Believing they are useless.
But the time has come, no more excuses. I call school to the stand and accuse him of killing creativity! Individuality! And being intellectually abusive. He’s an ancient institution that has outlived his usage.
So Your Honour, this concludes my opening statement and if I may present the evidence of my case, I will prove it. Judge: Proceed. Prince Ea: Exhibit A: Here’s a modern day phone, recognize it? Here’s a phone from 150 years ago. Big difference right? Stay with me… Here’s a car from today, and here’s a car from 150 years ago. Big difference right? Well get this… Here’s a classroom of today and here’s a class we used 150 years ago. Gallery: Whoaaa… Prince Ea: Now ain’t that a shame? In literally more than a century, Nothing Has Changed. Yet you claim to prepare students for the future? But with evidence like that I must ask, Do you prepare students for the future or the past?
I did a background check on you and let the records show that you were made to train people to work in factories. Which explains why you put students in straight rows, nice and neat. Tell em’ sit still. Raise your hand if you wanna speak. Give em’ a short break to eat and for 8 hours a day tell em’ what to think.
Oh, and make them compete to get an A. A letter which determines product quality. Hence grade A of meat. I get it. Back then times were different. We all have a past. I myself am no Gandhi. But today, we don’t need to make robot zombies. The world has progressed, and now we need people who think creatively, innovatively, critically, independently with the ability to connect.
See every scientist will tell you that no two brains are the same. And every parent with two or more children will confirm that claim. So please explain why you treat students like cookie cutter frames or snapback hats. Giving them this ‘one size fits all’ crap. Judge: Watch your language. Prince Ea: Sorry Your Honour. But if a doctor prescribed the exact same medicine to all of his patients the results would be tragic. So many people would get sick. Yet when it comes to school, this is exactly what happens. This EDUCATIONAL MALPRACTICE. Where one teacher stands in front of 20 kids, each one having different strengths, different needs, different gifts, different dreams. And you teach the same thing the same way? That’s horrific!
Ladies and Gentlemen, the defendant should not be acquitted. This may be one of the worst criminal offences ever to be committed.
And let’s mention the way you treat your employees. Defense Attorney: Objection! Judge: Overruled! I wanna hear this. Prince Ea: It’s a shame, I mean teachers have the most important job on the planet, yet they’re UNDERPAID. No wonder so many students are SHORT CHANGED. Let’s be honest, teachers should earn just as much as doctors. Because a doctor can do heart surgery, and save the life of a kid. But a great teacher can reach the heart of that kid and allow him to truly live.
See teachers are heroes that often get blamed. But they’re not the problem. They work in a system without many options or rights. Curriculum are created by policy makers. Most of which have never taught a day in their life. Just obsessed with standardized tests. They think bubbling in a multiple choice question will determine success. That’s outlandish.
In fact THESE TESTS ARE TOO CRUDE TO BE USED and should be abandoned. But don’t take my word for it, take Frederick J Kelly. The man who invented standardized testing, who said and I quote, “These tests are too crude to be used and should be abandoned.”
Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, if we continue down this road the results will be lethal.
I don’t have much faith in school but I do have faith in people. And if we can customize healthcare, cars, and Facebook pages, then it is our duty to do the same for education. To upgrade it. Change it. Do away with school spirit, cause that’s useless. Unless we’re working to bring the spirit out of each and every student, that should be our task.
No more common core, instead. Let’s reach the core of every heart in every class. Sure math is important, but no more than art or dance. Let’s give every gift an equal chance. I know this sounds like a dream. But countries like Finland are doing impressive things. They have shorter school days. Teachers make a decent wage. Homework is non-existent and they focus on COLLABORATION INSTEAD OF COMPETITION.
But here’s the kicker boys and girls. Their educational system outperforms every other country in the world. Other places like Singapore are succeeding rapidly. Schools like Montessori. Programmes like Khan Academy. There is no single solution, but let’s get moving. Because while students may be 20% of our population. They are 100% of our future.
So let’s attend to their dreams and there’s no telling that we can achieve. This is a world in which I believe. A world where fish are no longer forced to climb trees.
I REST MY CASE Gallery: **APPLAUSE** **Video Postscript** Hey, guys, my name is Prince Ea, and I want to say thank you so much for watching my video. But now I want to know what you think.
How can we together create a more efficient, effective and just better future of learning?
I want you to visit neste.com/preorderthefuture and share your thoughts and ideas on the topic, peace.
There’s a few things, about three things to my count that I need each day.
One I need something to look up to, another something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase.
Now first off I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or of any human hand. He has shown me that it is a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late Charlie Laughton, who said “When you got God, you got a friend, and that friend is you”
To my family, that’s who and what I look forward to. To my Father who I know he is up there right now with a big pot of gumbo. He has got a lemon meringue pie over there, he is probably in his underwear and he has got a cold can of Miller Lite, he is dancing right now. To you Dad, you taught me what it means to be a man.
To my Mother who is here tonight, who taught me and my two older brothers, demanded that we respect ourselves. And what we in turn learned was that we were better able to respect others. Thank you for that Mama.
To my wife Camila, and my kids Levi, Vida, Livingston. The courage and significance you give me everyday I go out the door is unparalleled. You are the four people in my life that I want to make the most proud of me, Thank you.
And to my hero, that’s who I chase. Now when I was 15 years old, I have a very important person in my life come to me and say, “Who is your hero?”. And I said I don’t know I gotta think about that, give me a couple of weeks. I come back two weeks later, this person comes up and says “Who’s your hero?” And so I thought about it and I said you know who it is, it’s me in 10 years.
So I turn 25, 10 years later that same person comes to me and goes “so are you a hero?” And I was like, not even close. No, no, no. She said “Why?” I said because my hero is me at 35. So you see every day, every week, every month and every year of my life, my hero is always 10 years away. I’m never going to beat my hero. I’m not going to obtain that, I know I’m not. And that’s just fine with me because that keeps me with somebody to keep on chasing.
So, to any of us, whatever those things are, whatever that is we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to, and whoever it is we are chasing to that I say amen. To that I say alright, alright, alright. And to that I say just keep living huh. Thank you. More Memorable Acceptance Speeches: Nine Rules from Chris Pratt: Generation Award Winner 2018
It is a special honour to be invited to the symposium. However, due to work conflicts, I regret that I cannot attend and partake in the insightful discussions. However, I have a special interest in today’s topic and have many thoughts to share and discuss as well as to learn from you all. In this regard I would like to pay special thanks to the symposium organizers for allowing me the opportunity to show my video.
At first, I questioned both my English and Chinese language abilities as I could not precisely translate “Honour” to Chinese. In the end, I was relieved when I learned many of you also had trouble translating the meaning of this word into Chinese. In fact, when you carefully consider the meaning of “Honour” and the principles it embodies it has been ingrained in Chinese people for thousands of years and has also been deeply embedded in the “bones” of Chinese people around the world.
Chinese have long understood that in order to do things completely you must complete certain tasks first. As a first step, China took to thoroughly considering and understanding the meaning of compassion, justice, courtesy and wisdom before realizing the past two thousand years of glory, politics, culture, art, and economics. Each of these areas have been great achievements for China.
Over the past 800 years the rise in China’s GDP ranked first in the world. “The Analects of Confucius” is only 11,000 characters long, only taking the space of one page of a newspaper today, but this important literary work has influenced and guided China for 2,000 years. Similarly, today’s symposium represents a topic of equal importance because the next 2,000 years of human development also needs our influence and guidance.
I believe that Singapore has set an example for the Chinese-speaking world and I fully agree with the beliefs of the Singapore government, the level of development that it has achieved today and its international status but the most important factor is its steadfast commitment to “Honour” and everything that it includes: respect, righteousness, integrity, responsibility, etc.
When I first started doing business, I asked my wife if she would rather have a husband that is rich or one that has values and is well respected. She replied, of course have values and be respected. Because at that time, most people did not believe I could make money.
In the past, I did not look highly on businessmen. Furthermore, I believed the societal value created by businessmen was very limited. However, after I had my own business, I realized that if you want to last long and be successful your daily considerations and analyses should have nothing to do with money. Decisions that are made related to money are not strategic. Instead, the decisions that aren’t made based on profit and instead made based on values are actually the truly strategic ones. Hence, I have always believed that a good finance director would not make a good chairman because a good finance director is always thinking about money. People that have money fully occupying their mind have difficulties in doing good things and have difficulty in being good friends.
I realized that if you want to last long and be successful your daily considerations and analyses should have nothing to do with money.
When Alibaba was founded, we were in a very difficult situation. We had nothing. Nobody believed in what we did. Everyone said we were crazy people or cheaters but what actually allowed us to survive? Was it money? In fact, we had no money. Was it resources? We had no resources. Was it human talent? In fact, our human talent all ran away when they saw our situation. In fact, what we had were our values. Our values included: customers first, team spirit, and integrity. And when you look at these areas they appear empty and worthless. When Alibaba first started, we were really poor. But we believed in the future development of the internet. We had a dream of creating a future. We had our own values for doing business.
We started out by helping Chinese foreign trade companies with their overseas orders, charging them annual fees. But after a year had passed, these companies’ transaction value did not even exceed their annual fees to us. Our staff felt heart broken and felt like they let their clients down. During the end of year’s visit, our staff spoke to them with honesty: Ecommerce will have a great future but results may not be instant. Perhaps you can get a refund and not sign up next year.’ What resulted instead was that our clients encouraged our young employees. “It takes time and training for foreign clients to migrate online. Your considerations of our business have earned our belief and trust.” There have been many similar companies and even from over ten years ago until now they remain Alibaba’s clients.
After ten plus years of building businesses, my most profound thought is that, as a businessman, the most important decision to determine a company’s destiny has nothing to do with money. Many people have asked me, “Jack why are you so capable Jack?” I said, in fact I’m not very capable, it’s just that we are lucky. Other people have said, “Jack, you are so lucky and succeed every time.” I don’t feel like this is the case. In fact, our success was due to right choices we made. Alibaba has grown to this point today because we made a few critical choices.
The first case was in 2002 when the internet bubble burst, Alibaba had to survive. During that time the company was in a difficult situation but we set a goal of making $1 profit. At that time if we didn’t make any profit we would die and the most painful issue was in order to win website design business we had to offer bribes. So we held an all-day meeting in Hangzhou. We understood that if we offered bribes we could survive but if we didn’t our company would likely die. I remember that day we met until 4pm and finally decided we would never offer bribes. We would rather close down the company. We would not operate without integrity. We would rather together find new jobs and continue to maintain integrity.
In 2002, because we maintained our integrity, we started to make a profit. After we started to make profit we discovered during our end of year review that two employees accounted for over 60% of the entire group’s sales. And we discovered these two employees were giving kickbacks, commissions, and bribes. So what should we do? If we fire them immediately, the company will not have profit. If we do not kick these two employees out then what does this say about us? It would imply that our words are empty so in the end we decided to let these two employees go. “Do not bribe”, this rule is written into Alibaba’s employee code of conduct. Employees that violate this rule are immediately expelled.
After Alibaba became a large company, bribes started to flow the other way around. We set new rules that forbid employees to take bribes. We have billions worth of procurement contracts every year. In our contracts we include this sentence: “Thank you for doing business with us. We hope that in our future business interactions our employees cannot ask for bribes and you will not offer us bribes. If we discover any such related problems, our group will never do business with you.” This is written in our contracts.
Today, Alibaba employees are well respected in the community. This isn’t because our business has grown large but rather the result of the many codes of conduct our employees follow. In many places, our employees are warmly welcomed. But our employees are not allowed to accept free car rides or meals. Small gifts, even a piece of candy is sent back. Otherwise the employee’s value score will be very low, and even be subject to penalties.
There was one time when I sat in a salesperson training session. The training instructor was speaking about how to sell hair combs to monks. After listening for five minutes, I got extremely angry and expelled the instructor. I thought the instructor was a cheater because monks do not need combs in the first place. So to sell a product to a client that doesn’t need it is deceptive and not skill-based sales. This practice was a significant challenge to our values.
The second choice we made at Alibaba was Alipay. As soon as we launched Taobao it quickly became very popular. However, many users communicated online without transactions actually occurring due to the lack of trust between strangers.
People were not willing to provide payment in advance and no one was willing to ship merchandise first. Our biggest problem was to solve this transaction problem.
That year I participated in the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos with the intent to find a solution to this problem. Instead, I discovered that all the businessmen were discussing corporate social responsibility. During my time at Davos, I suddenly realized that if we wanted to develop e-commerce in China, we needed to do something that had true value, something that would promote societal development. Without it we will never succeed. To do something like this requires tremendous responsibility. Without it, we will not be able to get anything done.
The lack of development in China’s ecommerce was due to one missing piece—a mechanism that could facilitate trust between people.
I believe that Alipay is the mechanism that can fulfil this gap. That same night at Davos, I called my friends and colleagues. I said, “Immediately, right now. Let’s create this product, let’s launch Alipay.” I understand the regulatory risks associated with creating Alipay in China, and if someone needs to go to jail for this product, I will go.
China is a country that has valued credibility and integrity. Confucius has said, “Every day, I self-reflect on three issues.” During ancient times people self-reflected on three issues a day, two of these three issues are related to sincerity and honesty: did I try my best in helping others and did I keep my word when engaging with friends. Chinese value credibility but lacks a system of trust. If Alipay wants to have value in China it must establish a trust system.
Today, Alibaba has built a trust system in China: users provide reviews, Alipay facilities transactions, and all the actions taken on our platform is data which helps inform credibility and credit ratings.
Only with this system, would it be possible for users to send strangers money and merchandise solely based on a picture and a few sentences posted online.
Today, we have millions of daily visitors on our site. Sometimes an order can represent a diamond worth several hundred thousands or a car worth millions. A few days ago, we sold 100 Mercedes-Benz in only 25 seconds. As a result, without this trust system, these transactions would be nearly impossible. What makes us most proud today is not how many products we sold but rather the trust system Alibaba has built. We proved to everyone in a commercial manner how much trust is worth. We built a system of trust. We are also a beneficiary of the system. This system provides the foundation for Alibaba to achieve $500 billion in sales during our fiscal year. The power of honour is tremendous.
If the past 30 years of China’s development relied on its advantage in population size and the relatively low price of labour. Then in the coming years China should not look to rely on having cheaper products but instead rely on the trust or honour between people. If there is a significant human potential that has not been realized I believe mutual trust and credibility is the biggest undiscovered fortune. Only when we pay attention and care about “Honour” will we “Honour” ourselves. I believe it is only then that we can earn other people’s “Honour.”
Many thanks to the symposium organizers for inviting me, and I am very sorry that I was not able to be here personally for the meetings. Congratulations to everyone here. Thank you all!
See Related: Advice from Jack Ma on Life and Entrepreneurship Jack Ma advice on how to be successful in Life Jack Ma’s vision for Alibaba
Today, we are all here to discuss what we should do in the next five to ten years. So, what will Alibaba become in the future? Since we were working on China Pages, I’ve always said our competitors are not domestic websites, but overseas websites. Our competitors are not in China, but in America’s Silicon Valley.
So first, we should position Alibaba as a global website, not just a domestic website. Second, we need to learn the hard working spirit of Silicon Valley. If we go to work at 8am and go home at 5pm, this is not a high tech company, and Alibaba will never be successful. If we have that kind of 8am-to-5pm spirit, then we should just go and do something else.
Americans are strong at hardware and systems. But on information and software, Chinese brains are just as good as theirs. All of our brains are just as good as theirs. This is the reason we dare to compete with Americans. If we are a good team and know what we want to do, one of us can defeat ten of them. We can beat government agencies and big famous companies because of our innovative spirit. Otherwise, what is the difference between us and them?
Everybody knows the Internet is a bubble that keeps getting bigger and bigger. But when will it burst? Yahoo’s stock will fall and eBay’s stock will rise and maybe after eBay’s stock rises, Alibaba’s stock will rise. So don’t worry. The dream of the Internet won’t burst. We will have to pay painful price in the next 3 to 5 years. It is the only way we can succeed. So, the goal is Alibaba will IPO in 2002. Chinese Transcript
人家美国人强就强在硬件，强就强在他的系统就是这个这方面确实比我们高，但是玩信息玩软的，中国脑袋决不比别人差。我们在座的所有人的脑袋绝不比任 何人差。这就是我们敢跟美国人斗的机会，我们绝对敢斗，如果我们是好的Team好的团队，我们自己知道我们想做什么，我们想干点什么的时候，我相信我们是 可以一当十的。我们能够赢政府机构，我们能够赢其他很多的民营企业，大的企业的时候，凭的我们的精神，我们一手的创新概念，以及我们这种拼劲才能去斗，否则的话，跟他们什么区别呢？
See Related: Advice from Jack Ma on Life and Entrepreneurship Jack Ma advice on how to be successful in Life The Value of Honour – Jack Ma
Be a good student. The way to entrepreneur, just learn some experience.
Before 30 Years Old:
Follow somebody. Go to a small company. Normally in a big company it’s good to learn processes. You’re a part of a big machine. But when you go to a small company, you learn the passion, you learn the dreams, and you learn how to do lots of things at any one time. So before 30 years old, it’s not which company you go, it’s which boss you follow. It’s very important. A good boss teaches you differently.
From 30 to 40 Years Old:
You have to think very clearly if you want to work for yourself. If you really want to be an entrepreneur.
From 40 to 50 Years Old:
You have to do all the things that you are good at. Don’t try to drop into the new area, it’s too late. You may be successful, but the rate of dying is too big. Think about how to focus on things that you’re good at.
From 50 to 60 Years Old:
Work for the young people. Because young people can do better than you. So rely on them, invest on them, making sure that they are good.
Over 60 Years Old:
Spend time on yourself, on the beach, sunshine, it’s normally too late for you to change. This is my advice to young people: At 25-years old, make enough mistakes. Don’t worry. You fall, you stand up. Enjoy it. Enjoy the show.
Jack Ma on Regrets:
I regret a lot of things. I regret that I meet the Media. I regret that I speak in the public. Because I could have my own privacy. I regret that I work so hard and spend so little time with my family. If I have another life, I would never do things like this. And my wife said: “You do not belong to me. You belong to Alibaba.” But, in all, Life is so short. It’s all about experience. People seek different views. Some people think you’re rich, you’re successful. But you’re not! Some people say this guy does not have money and he’s a terrible guy. Maybe not! So everybody choose his or her own life. We have a lot of problems that people never thought of. Because running a company for 34,000 young people, operating a company for more than 500 million people. If 1% of the 500 million people are bad guys, you got 5 million bad guys. So it’s a headache. But it’s too late to regret. Forget about regret. Think about I have another 10-20 years to go. So enjoy the show, enjoy the ride. You’re the same.
See Related: Advice from Jack Ma on Life and Entrepreneurship Jack Ma’s vision for Alibaba The Value of Honour – Jack Ma
Nicholas James – “Nick” Vujicic – is an Australian Christian evangelist and motivational speaker born with tetra-amelia syndrome, a rare disorder characterised by the absence of all four limbs. As a child, he struggled mentally and emotionally as well as physically, but eventually came to terms with his disability and, at the age of seventeen, started his own non-profit organisation, Life Without Limbs. Vujicic presents motivational speeches worldwide which focus on life with a disability, hope and finding meaning in life. He also speaks about his belief that God can use any willing heart to do his work and that God is big enough to overcome any disability.
Quotes by Nick Vujicic:
If you can’t get a miracle, become one.
You are awesome just the way you are.
Life without limbs? Or life without limits?
FAITH: Full Assurance In The Heart.
If I fail, I try again, and again, and again.
You can’t even stand without risking to fall.
Some injuries heal more quickly if you keep moving.
The greater the struggle the more glorious the triumph.
God’s love is so real that He created you to prove it.
FEAR is often described as False Evidence Appearing Real.
I am God’s creation, designed according to His plan for me.
People always complain that they can’t do this and they can’t do that.
Trade the life of self pity, that I was living, for a life of purpose!
In life you have a choice: Bitter or Better? Choose better, forget bitter.
There are things in your life that you can’t control and gotta live with.
What really matters are the lives you touch along the way and how you finish your journey.
I have the choice to be angry at God for what i don’t have, or be thankful for what i do have.
Keep moving ahead because action creates momentum, which in turn creates unanticipated opportunities.
The challenges in our lives are there to strengthen our convictions. They are not there to run us over.
God gave you just one mouth but He gave you two ears, so you should listen twice as much as you speak.
To wish for change will change nothing. To make the decision to take action right now will change everything!
For every disability you have, you are blessed with more than enough abilities to overcome your challenges.
I encourage you to accept that you may not be able to see a path right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there.
But there is one thing better than going to heaven and that is to encourage at least one other person to go with me,
Having faith, beliefs, and convictions is a great thing, but your life is measured by the actions you take based upon them.
Pain is pain. Broken is broken. Fear is the biggest disability of all. It will paralyze you more than being in a wheelchair.
Marriage is a long-term commitment. You should only step into that commitment if you truly love the person and want to spend your life with her.
Sometimes you may feel like you are just about to realize your goal only to fall short. That is no reason to quit. Defeat happens only to those who refuse to try again.
Have you ever felt trapped in circumstances, then discovered that the only trap was your own lack of vision, lack of courage, or failure to see that you had better options?
I may have absolutely no control over what happens to us, but we can control how we respond. If we choose the right attitude, we can rise above whatever challenges we face.
Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31).
The greatest rewards come when you give of yourself. It’s about bettering the lives of others, being part of something bigger than yourself, and making a positive difference.
If you aren’t where you want to be or you haven’t achieved all you hope to achieve, the reason most likely resides not around you but within you. Take responsibility and then take action.
Once you accept that perfection is just a goal, screwing up isn’t so hard to handle. Each misstep is still a step, another lesson learned, another opportunity to get it right the next time.
Risk, then, is not just part of life. It is life. The place between your comfort zone and your and your dream is where life takes place. It’s the high-anxiety zone, but it’s also where you discover
who you are.
If I fail, I try again, and again, and again. If YOU fail, are you going to try again? The human spirit can handle much worse than we realize. It matters HOW you are going to FINISH. Are you going to finish strong?
We easily become trapped in the ‘someday’ mentality. Someday I’ll have all the money I need to enjoy life. Someday I’ll be able to spent more time with my family. Someday I’ll have time to relax and do what i love doing.
Yet I also believe that when you do unto others, blessings come to you as well. So if you don’t have a friend, be a friend. If you are having a bad day, make someone else’s day. If your feelings are hurt, heal those of another.
Recognise instant self-gratification for what it is. Resist the temptation to grab for material objects like the perfect house, the coolest clothes or the hottest car. The if I just had X, I would be happy syndrome is a mass delusion.
The key is you have to trust that God only has the best in store for you. If God says no to something, He says yes to something even greater. It is when you fully surrender all of your desires to His will that His perfect will is done.
To keep moving up, you have to abandon the security of that ledge and reach for another hold. Letting go of that sense of security.. is the challenge. … think of yourself as climbing a ladder. To move to the next rung, you must give up your grip and reach for the next one.
We can’t, and we should not, compare sufferings. We come together as a family of God, hand in hand. And then together coming and standing upon the promises of God, knowing that no matter who you are, no matter what you’re going through, that God knows it, He is with you, He is going to pull you through.
Life isn’t about having, it’s about being. You could surround yourself with all that money can buy, and you’d still be as miserable as a human can be. I know people with perfect bodies who don’t have half the happiness I’ve found. On my journeys I’ve seen more joy in the slums of Mumbai and the orphanages of Africa than in wealthy gated communities and on sprawling estates worth millions. Why is that? You’ll find contentment when your talents and passion are completely engaged, in full force. Recognise instant self-gratification for what it is. Resist the temptation to grab for material objects like the perfect house, the coolest clothes or the hottest car. The if I just had X, I would be happy syndrome is a mass delusion. When you look for happiness in mere objects, they are never enough. Look around. Look within.
Below is a video presentation with transcript by Nick Vujicic in Serbia (TEDxNoviSad) on how he overcame hopelessness and becoming a miracle in someone else’s life through his disability.
Thank you very much.
Guys, my name is Nick Vujicic, I was born in Australia in 1982, moved from Australia to California in the year 2006.
And my life story – I’m just thankful
that people have seen my life
on some sort of level – whether it’s just YouTube videos
or seeing pictures of a limbless guy smile.
You know, people always ask me
you know, what happened to you
and how did you overcome what you’ve been through?
The title of the message that I’ve been given
is “Transforming the walls into doors”.
When I speak corporately,
the line that I like to use is
“changing obstacles into opportunities”.
Now, I am very well aware to share with you as well.
I know that there are a billion people going hungry today.
I know that this year, a million people will commit suicide.
That is one every 40 seconds.
I know today there are 120 million slaves
and I’ve met six slaves
and I’ve seen the top of the pyramid as far as business
and met the billionaires.
I’ve met bankers and I’ve also met orphans.
We’re all looking for something.
We’re all looking for hope.
Hope you can’t just have just because you were born with hope.
No, we’re born with pain.
We’re born and live through difficulties.
In our life – my parents always taught me
that even though we don’t know
why I was born this way, that we have a choice.
Either to be angry for what we don’t have
or be thankful for what we do have.
The power of that choice was the first thing
that I had to overcome and decide for myself,
especially in the early years of school.
A lot of kids would come up to me and tease me.
And I have been speaking at 5 congresses,
I’ve met 7 presidents all around the world.
My largest crowd was 110,000.
I have 30 thousand invitations for me to speak.
So wherever I go, I talk about the value of life,
I talk about anti-bullying messages
for the school systems in different nations.
The greatest thing is love.
When we feel like we don’t have enough love
and we don’t have enough hope,
we start losing strength to live.
For me in my life as a child, I had a big wall.
I was surrounded by four walls and a low ceiling of opportunity.
I was set free in so many different ways
and especially surviving from day to day
with my parents who loved me, who encouraged me,
who told me I was beautiful the way that I was
and not to worry about what other people said about me.
I was actually the first special needs child
to be integrated into the mainstream education system
in Australia and I was awarded Young Citizen of the Year in 1990.
And the world is a hurting place and the world needs hope
and world needs love.
Without hope, we feel like, ‘Why are we here?’
Well, brokenness. Here’s mine.
Today, I still have no arms and no legs, but everything’s changed.
For me, I was looking for hope and happiness
and I couldn’t see it for many years.
In fact, if this side of the table represents my hope,
truth encourages me to become all that I can be.
But then we have lies, everyday,
coming in our mind, people who discourage us.
You know the people that you have in your life
who, no matter how good of a day you’re having, they’ll bring you down?
Or no matter how bad of a day you’re having, they’ll bring you even lower?
You know what I’m talking about?
Think of the 3 biggest discourages in your life.
They’re not your biggest discourages.
It only takes 3 seconds for me to tell you something discouraging
but then, you may never forget my words.
I’ve met so many 50-year-old women and 40-year-old women
who still remember what their fathers told them that they wish they’d never heard.
Words are powerful.
And when you hear those words and then your mind starts growing with these lies.
“Nick, you’re not good enough, just give up, you’ll never get a job”,
“You won’t get married, you can’t even hold your wife’s hand”.
“What kind of a father are you gonna be
if you can’t even pick up your kids when they’re crying?”
You’re alone. Sure, your parents hug you.
But their hugs can’t heal you.
Just give up. Just give up. Just give up……
At age 8 I thought that I should commit suicide. Why?
‘Cause I didn’t have hope. I thought I didn’t have hope.
Today you can see that I had hope.
What’s the word, believing in something you do not see? Faith.
Words can only do so much. Hugs can do much more than words,
but when hugs can’t do anything, that’s where faith kicks in.
For me, words and hugs were not enough, but I had no faith.
So I tried to give up.
At age 10, I tried to drown myself in 6 inches, or 15 centimetres of water,
in my home.
I told my dad I just wanted to relax, but really, I wanted to end my life.
I had enough. (Serbian) I had enough.
The first two times I rolled over.
I was trying to work out how much air I hold in my lungs before I let it out.
And the third time, in my mind, knowing that I wanted to get out of here,
because of the bullying in my life, ’cause I was going to be a burden to my parents
and I had nothing to look forward to.
I realized at that moment that if I actually went through with committing suicide,
I would leave a greater burden for my parents than they already had.
There was one thing less hopeful or more burdensome
than having a child without limbs.
What is it? A child without limbs who gives up.
So when I saw in my mind my mom and my dad
and my brother crying at my grave
if I went through with it, that one thought saved me.
If my parents never told me that I was beautiful the way I was.
If my parents never told me that I was special and that I was loved,
I wouldn’t be here today.
So I encourage every single parent
who tries their best to encourage their teenagers,
especially in the West, many teenagers put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on their door.
I’m sure, the conversations all around the world between a parent and a teenager:
How was school? – Fine. – What did you learn? – Nothing. – Did you do your homework? – No.
And that’s the conversation for the day.
And when you try to tell your children that they’re beautiful, they say,
“Of course I’m beautiful, I’m your son, your daughter, of course you’re gonna say that”.
But they’re right.
Every single human being has value
and my value is not determined on how I look
or what job I have, or where I’m from, where I was born,
how much money, all that stuff is nothing.
So many teenagers, you know, tease each other
for how we look and I tell the teenagers,
“Do you think that I’m cool enough to be your friend?”
And they’re like, “Yeah, of course”.
I say, “But I have no arms and no legs”, and they say, “Doesn’t matter.”
And I say, “Really? So it doesn’t matter that I have no arms and no legs?”
They say it doesn’t matter.
I say then, “Actually, if it doesn’t matter, then why do we kill each other with our words,
if it actually doesn’t matter?”
Why do we look [at] ourselves in the mirror and see ugly instead of valuable?
I want to ask you today, what are you looking for?
If I gave you a billion dollars, would you be happy?
If you gave me a billion dollars, I’d be very happy.
But then if my mom dies tonight, am I happy? No.
With all the money in the world, I’d never be happy.
Right? ‘Cause money is something that cannot heal the soul.
So many teenagers are looking for love which, love does heal the soul,
love does complete the soul.
But even sex before marriage, I was a virgin before I got married.
Yeah, I’ve got a gorgeous wife, we’re pregnant with our first son.
And I don’t need hands to hold her hand.
I only want to hold her heart.
And you know, how am I going to hug my kid?
So many kids that come up to me, it’s amazing.
They put their hands behind their back and hug me with their neck.
And I’ve realized in life, even the worst parts of my life
can be turned into good.
And even more special.
So many teenagers are looking for love so they are going to go do this,
and go do that and have sex before marriage.
For me, sex out of marriage is like a 5 dollar Gucci watch.
Sex within marriage and having sex with someone
who loves you, who is committed to you for the rest of your life,
going to be the mother or father of your kids, that’s what love is.
You can sleep with as many people as you like
but never know for sure, “Do they love me?”
Love is a life-long commitment. You see, there are choices in life.
And we’re looking. I want to ask you, what are you looking for?
If I can just drunk, why not, man? I’ll only live once.
Well, if that’s the way you believe, great.
But for me, I’m a greedy man, I don’t want to live for 90 years.
I want to live for billions of years.
And I know that every day, my choices will affect this life,
other people’s life and my eternal life.
You gotta come to the truth of knowing who you are and why you’re here.
William Barkley, he said, the greatest two days in anyone’s life —
they day you were born, and the day you knew why.
So, “Uh, you’re ugly”.
No, I’m beautiful the way that I am
and if you can’t believe that for yourself
so many girls, specially, stay with their emotionally abusive boyfriends
because, “If I break up with him, then who is going to want me? ”
See, we all want love.
That’s why we do what we do sometimes.
To get into the crowd — I am going to swear, I am going to be cool —
that’s what this world is —
“I want to look like her, if I was taller, shorter, smarter, more popular”
whatever you want, it’s not enough.
Until you find the truth.
I’m wonderfully and faithfully made.
There is a greater purpose for my life.
I am here for a reason.
Sure, I didn’t get a miracle.
Yeah, I believe in a God who can do miracles
and I have a pair of shoes in my closet.
Why? I’ve seen blind people seeing and deaf people hearing.
That’s fine if you don’t believe me, I’ve got it on camera.
But I realized something.
If God doesn’t change my circumstances
he’s gonna use my life to be a miracle for someone else.
When you don’t get a miracle, you can still be a miracle for someone else.
I’m gonna close off with this beautiful story.
I was in Southern California —
I have 2 organizations,
a non-profit organization and I have a for-profit.
I probably spoke between years 2007 and 2010, 1000 times, 600 flights.
And I’ve spoken to 4.5 million people face to face
and in the last 48 hours here in Serbia, we’ve reached 5 million through media.
So, we have the heart of people to love others.
We want people to love each other, love yourself
dream big and never give up.
We are all looking for hope, aren’t we?
What are you looking for?
Money, drugs, sex, alcohol, pornography, fame, fortune.
It’s never enough.
But I have come to peace, so check this out.
When I was 24 years old, 5-6 years ago, I was in California.
And I’d never met anybody else like me.
When I was 10 years old, I wished I would have met somebody like me.
Never did, didn’t get that miracle.
But at 24, in Califronia, I saw a little boy
with no arms and no legs, 19 months old, just like me.
I knew he was going to be bullied,
he was going to go through depression, he would feel alone,
I knew that he would get worried if he’s ever going to have a girlfriend
and so on, and so on.
I got the father to bring him up on stage in front of 2000 people.
And everyone was crying.
And it was a materialization of when you don’t get a miracle,
you can be a miracle for someone else.
I am not a superhero, I go through ups and downs, so do you.
But take one day at a time
and if you haven’t found that piece of knowing who you are and why you’re here
and where you’re going when you’re not here.
For me, I want you to know that’s how I’ve overcome.
I don’t have any walls.
My book’s called “Life without limits” and what will be, will be.
I’ve acted in a short film, 30 awards.
I got best actor in a short film.
I’ve done my own music video.
I’ve written 2 books, first book — 30 languages, 800,000 copies.
I’m 29 and we know a billion people know who I am.
Not to bring out my pride or my name or my status,
trust me, I’m just like you.
But I hope you are inspired to know
that if I can dream big, so can you.
There are no walls.
Find your peace and you’ll make your walls, doors.
Thank you so much.
Related: There Is Hope – Nick Vujicic
Billionaire Jack Ma, the founder and ex-CEO of Alibaba Group, as well as one of the most successful Chinese Internet entrepreneurs, shares his wealth of experiences. Jack Ma: The mistake I regretted the most
In 2001, I made a mistake. I told 18 of my fellow comrades whom embarked on the entrepreneurship journey with me that the highest positions they could go was a managerial role. To fill all our Vice President and Senior Executive positions, we would have to hire from external parties.
Years later, those I hired were gone, but those whom I doubted their abilities became Vice Presidents or Directors.
I believe in two principles: Your attitude is more important than your capabilities. Similarly, your decision is more important than your capabilities! Jack Ma: You cannot unify everyone’s thoughts, but you can unify everyone through a common goal.
Don’t even trust that you are able to unify what everyone is thinking; it is impossible.
30% of all people will never believe you. Do not allow your colleagues and employees to work for you. Instead, let them work for a common goal.
It is a lot easier to unite the company under a common goal rather than uniting the company around a particular person.
Jack Ma: What does a leader have that an employee doesn’t?
A leader should never compare his technical skills with his employee’s. Your employee should have superior technical skills than you. If he doesn’t, it means you have hired the wrong person.
What, then, makes the leader stands out?
A leader should be a visionary and have more foresight than an employee.
A leader should have higher grit and tenacity, and be able to endure what the employees can’t.
A leader should have higher endurance and ability to accept and embrace failure.
The quality of a good leader therefore is his vision, tenacity, and his capability. Jack Ma: Don’t be involved in politics
One should always understand that money and political power can never go hand in hand. Once you are in politics, don’t ever think about money anymore. Once you are running a business, don’t ever think of being involved in politics.
When money meets political power, it is similar to a match meeting an explosive- waiting to go off. Jack Ma: The 4 main questions the young generation must ponder on
What is failure: Giving up is the greatest failure.
What is resilience: Once you have been through hardships, grievances and disappointments, only then will you understand what is resilience.
What your duties are: To be more diligent, hardworking, and ambitious than others.
Only fools use their mouth to speak. A smart man uses his brain, and a wise man uses his heart.
Jack Ma: We are born to live and experience life. I always tell myself that we are born here not to work, but to enjoy life. We are here to make things better for one another, and not to work. If you are spending your whole life working, you will certainly regret it. No matter how successful you are in your career, you must always remember that we are here to live. If you keep yourself busy working, you will surely regret it.
Jack Ma on competing and competition
Those that compete aggressively with one another are the foolish ones.
If you view everyone as your enemies, everyone around you will be your enemies.
When you are competing with one another, don’t bring hatred along. Hatred will take you down.
Competition is similar to playing a board of chess. If you lose, we can always have another round. Both players should never fight.
A real businessman or entrepreneur has no enemies. Once he understands this, the sky’s the limit. Jack Ma: Don’t make complaining and whining a habit If you complain or whine once in a while, it is not a big deal.
However, if it becomes habitual, it will be similar to drinking: the more you drink, the stronger the thirst. On the path to success, you will notice that the successful ones are not whiners, nor do they complain often.
The world will not remember what you say, but it will certainly not forget what you have done. Jack Ma’s advice to entrepreneurs The opportunities that everyone cannot see are the real opportunities.
Always let your employees come to work with a smile.
Customers should be number 1, Employees number 2, and then only your Shareholders come at number 3.
Adopt and change before any major trends or changes.
Forget the money; Forget about earning money.
Rather than having small smart tricks to get by, focus on holding on and persevering.
Your attitude determines your altitude. Jack Ma on entrepreneurship
A great opportunity is often hard to be explained clearly; things that can be explained clearly are often not the best opportunities.
You should find someone who has complementary skills to start a company with. You shouldn’t necessarily look for someone successful. Find the right people, not the best people.
The most unreliable thing in this world is human relationships.
“Free” is the most expensive word.
Today is cruel, tomorrow will be worse, but the day after tomorrow will be beautiful. Jack Ma: The 4 don’ts of entrepreneurship
The scariest things about starting up is the inability/refusal to see what your competitors are doing
Being snobbish, looking down on your competitor
Unable to understand what is going on in the business environment
Unable to keep up with the competition
If you do not know where your competitor is, or overconfident and snobbish about your competitor, or are unable to comprehend how your competitor became a real threat, you will surely fall behind him. Don’t be the “they” in this idiom: First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Even if your competitor is still small in size or weak, you should take him seriously and treat him as a giant. Likewise, even if your competitor is massive in size, you shouldn’t regard yourself as a weakling.
Jack Ma on starting your own company
What starting your company means: you will lose your stable income, your right to apply for a leave of absence, and your right to get a bonus.
However, it also means your income will no longer be limited, you will use your time more effectively, and you will no longer need to beg for favours from people anymore.
If you have a different mindset, you will have a different outcome: if you make different choices from your peers, your life will then be different from your peers. Jack Ma on opportunities
If there are over 90% of the crowd saying “Yes” to approving a proposal, I will surely dispose the proposal into the bin. The reason is simple: if there are so many people who think that the proposal is good, surely there will be many people who would have been working on it, and the opportunity no longer belongs to us.
About Jack Ma: Jack Ma is a Chinese Internet entrepreneur. He is the Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, a family of highly successful Internet-based businesses. He is also the first mainland Chinese entrepreneur to appear on the cover of Forbes Magazine and ranks as one of the world’s billionaires. Ma was named the Financial Times’ 2013 Person of the Year because he personifies the Chinese internet, referring to him as the “godfather of China’s scrappy entrepreneurial spirit”.
See Related: Jack Ma advice on how to be successful in Life Jack Ma’s vision for Alibaba The Value of Honour – Jack Ma