How often do we complain about the things we do not have? We whine about things we desire but cannot obtain, or things that we once had but are now lost from us.
How many times have we encountered people moping over unfortunate adversities such as accidents or calamities?
Let us ask a question to ourselves, whether these incidental tragedies are reasons to lose hope and give up, or are they a test of faith and a sign for new things to come. One man might inspire you to believe in the latter.
His name is Peng Shuilin. Peng Shuilin was born in Hunan Province, China. In 1995, in Shenzhen, he met with an unfortunate accident where a freight truck sliced his body in half. The doctors said that his lower body was destroyed beyond repair. For most people, this incident would be soul-crushingly traumatic. One might argue that the will to live, or rather the will to live happily might be lost on a person who has suffered such a fate. But not Peng Shuilin, because he endured two years of surgeries and various medical treatments in a hospital in Shenzhen to get better. He had almost all of his major organs and systems in his body rerouted. As you can imagine, these medical procedures took a lot of effort and was excruciating, but Peng endured in order to get his life back.
This was a man who did not know defeat.
During his time in the hospital, Peng kept exercising his arms, building up strength, washing his face and brushing his teeth. Eventually Peng was rewarded for his perseverance when doctors at the China Rehabilitation Research Centre in Beijing devised an ingenious way to allow him to walk on his own, creating a sophisticated egg cup-like casing to hold his body, with two bionic legs attached. Peng has been walking the corridors of Beijing Rehabilitation Centre with the aid of these specially adapted legs and a re-sized walking frame. As Peng sways his body from side to side, the leg from over which his body-weight has been relieved moves forward. By swaying from one side to another, Peng can make both the legs move in a fashion that would best emulate the sensation of walking. However, it is not as simple as it sounds, since it takes careful consideration and practice to use it. But Peng understands how to use it; so well that the inspirational 37-year-old has become a businessman and is used as a role model for other amputees. He has also opened his own bargain supermarket, called the ‘Half Man Half Price’ Store. At just 2 feet 7 inches tall, he moves around in a wheelchair giving lectures on recovery from disability.
His secret: a positive attitude. Now, let us ask ourselves the question that we talked about earlier. After a tragic incident, should we be embroiled in despair or should we accept what has happened and move on with life? If we take the example of Peng Shuilin, what would have happened if he had given up on hope instead of enduring the days after the tragedy? He made quite a life for himself even after losing half his body. When asked how he did it, he would smile and say that he never gave up.
That is the key; to never give up despite the adversity. This is what we learn from Peng Shuilin: the man who lost half his body.