Friday, December 12, 2008

The undaunted Child

I was re-reading the book 'Facing the Sun' by Huang Nai Hui and was touched again by the difficulties he had to go through in life. He was born a normal child but after a spell of fever part of his brain was damaged resulting in him being unable to walk and talk properly. Besides he had difficulty using his hand too.

Being superstitious, his parents blamed him for bringing misfortune to the family because his father's business was going down the drain and both parents had incessant quarrels that ended in divorce. Then Huang was taken care of by his paternal grandmother. It was she who trained Huang to be independent. She forced the handicapped boy to go to the market to buy fish, meat, vegetables and groceries. If he came home with stale fish or vegetables he had to return them to the sellers in exchange for fresh ones. As he had difficulty in walking, it took him quite some time to travel from place to place. The market folk took pity on him and always reserved fresh fish, meat and vegetables for him so that he need come back for fresh goods.

It was only 13 years old when he was allowed to study in a normal school. His classmates used to bully him. Very often, they took away his stationery so that he could not do his homework. Worse still, they pulled away his chair when he stood up and sure enough he fell backwards. They then had a good laugh. When I was reading this bullying I was so angry with his naughty classmates that if I were there I would have punched some senses out of them for doing cruelty to a handicapped child. Writing was never easy for Huang as he could not control his limbs well. A page of written work would take him hours to complete. Hence he would never be able to complete his test in time.

Every now and then his granny would take him to ascend stairs and climb hills to prevent his legs from degenerating for lack of use. Exercising this way really helped him to walk better later.

When he was able to move around, he began to sell flowers to earn his schooling expenses. His thirst for knowledge prompted him to attend lectures in several universities in Taiwan with permission from the relevant kind-hearted lecturers. While studying he did not stop earning money to support himself.

Later he opened his souvenir store and flower shops. They were later closed because no one was willing to man them as Huang was out canvassing for customers. By this time he had acquired a motorcycle that could only move 20 km per hour for his safety.

The story of Huang Nai Hui is a good example for handicapped people to follow. With strong will and the spirit of not bowing to difficulties, Huang was able to lead worthwhile life and contributed to charity later in his life.

No comments: