Friday, 06. March 2015
23. 05. 14. - 16:00
There are givers and takers in life - and Li Jiewen has achieved fame in China for being the former.
Li is celebrated as a national hero in China for his can-do spirit, which has prevailed despite the fact he is handicapped after loosing his legs to polio as a child.
Now aged 46, he paddles out to plant rice in waterlogged paddies using a truck tyre inner tube. He milked cows by pushing himself along on a skateboard to reach up to their udders. He swept floors using a cut-down broomstick.
From a poor family, and being disabled, he was unable to be educated beyond the age of 11. But Li worked hard floating around paddy fields on his tyre, saved his money, and eventually opened a general store in the village where he lives. And when his story was told on Chinese TV recently, he became a superstar.
His uncomplaining attitude coupled with his determination to live as normal a life as possible has endeared him to the hearts of people in a land where the divide between haves and have-nots grows greater by the day.
He married twenty years ago and his two daughters help out in the family store. Around his village he is a friendly face that everyone recognises because he always wants to help out others, and asks nothing for himself.
He said: "You can sit and moan that you have nothing, and how bad your lot in life is, or you can get on with it and carve out a life for yourself. I chose the latter.
"Life is about choices. I made mine, and I have no regrets."
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