Listen to Your Body, to Your Soul, Love them and Live Accordingly (About the Book “Life without Limits” by Nick Vujicic and the Book “In the Dark of the Night” (Women’s Voices in Ukrainian Literature, 1998)

Nick Vuicic's book (cover)When Nick Vujicic was asked in Moscow: “What would you have given to have your arms and legs?”, he answered: “What for do I need them?”

His quotations from the book “life without Limits”:

1.”I don’t believe I’m disabled. Yes, I have no arms and no legs, but big deal. Doesn’t matter how I look. It’s who I am, and what I do.”

2.”I don’t care if you are a good mathematician or a good athletic, or not good at anything that you think. But I’m gonna come and tell you that you’re awesome the way you are.”

The message is clear: “Listen to your body, love it and live accordingly.”

Where are the roots of his inspiration and some others, who are mentioned in the other book “In the Dark of the Night”. Let’s open page 40 and read the story “The Shadow of Uncreated Creations (1899) by Dniprova Chayka (1861-1927) and try to understand women’s slow, difficult and ongoing trek to political, economic and social equality – a trek on which women in Ukraine embarked over a century ago.

Lyudmila Berezyna-Vasylevska chose to write under the literary pseudonym “Dniprova Chayka” which means “the Seagull of the Dnipro” The nom de plume was a most fitting one for a writer of a romantic bent, for not only was she born near the Dnipro River, but in Ukrainian poetry and folk songs, the image of a lamenting seagull symbolizes a mother weeping for her children, or Ukraine bemoaning the sad fate of her people.

This story tells us about get-together of the young people with the two educators Mariya Dmytrivna and Antonina Pavlivna, the latter was felt as a flake.After some while by the gentle request of her friend Women's Voices in Ukrainian LiteratureAntonina Pavlivna started to sing: a warm, rich contralto was floating through the air, and, without pausing, it sang:

“So does one’s youth pass without trace,

And soon it will all be over…”

Sorrow, nourished generously through the years, wound like a cold snake, through that despondent singing.

“And when you look all around,

It’s all so empty, so pale -”

Antonina Pavlivna was complimented highly by the young guys and someone told: “We heard that, at one time, you were preparing for the stage, but to have such a great talent and to bury it, that is a mortal sin.”

She answered: “You said that it is as if I’m creating, you hear a new “creation” in my singing, but this is just…”the shadow of uncreated creations”! You heard my voice…my manner surprised you… But you did not hear my voice, you heard only half of one-the other half has been…shattered into splinters, slivers.

O you, young people! Do not squander the power in your soul! Do not choke it, no matter what it is like, in the name of even the holiest ideals.

Before stepping on the path of life, before you arm yourself with all kinds of knowledge, bend down to the very bottom of your soul, draw out that tiny, frightened “I”, examine its unique strengths carefully, and develop only them. Do not be afraid that there will also be faults and evil there; be frightened only of trampling another person’s soul when you happen to come across it in your journey.

Do not set yourself the goal either of material wealth or of people’s respect. Do not try to make yourselves better by following someone else’s prescription. Do not walk down well-trodden paths; walk down your own paths, even if they are strewn with stones, thorns, and mud.

It may be difficult, distressing – so be it! But work will make you strong. And if you die in the effort – it is better to die on your own path.”

Why am I talking now about those inspirational speeches of Antonina Pavlivna, the heroine of the last century, and contemporary Nick Vujicic?

Because both appeal to the regular people, like you and me, no matter of which appearance we are: fat, slim, handsome or ugly, disabled or with all capacities, find your own soul and follow its motivation for the whole life, living accordingly.

Jazz musicians from New Orleans definitely try to live this way.

Listen to: “Smoking Time Jazz Club at the Old Mint” – full concert

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