It seems that there are so many people in this world who believe that the government owes them everything, especially if they have been dealt a difficult hand in life. However, there are also so many unsung heroes in this world that deserve recognition for persevering through hardships and trials without asking anyone for help. Not only do they not expect charity, but they manage to help others despite their own trial and tribulations. Chen Xinyin from Chongqing in Southwest China is one of those people, who simply lives his life without considering just how amazing he is. Xinyin lost both of his arms when he was 7 years old due to severe electric shock. He is now 48 years old. He has not only learned how to care for himself and run his family’s farm without the use of arms, but he also takes care of his 91-year-old mother who was paralyzed a little over a month ago and can no longer move her arms to help care for herself.
Meet Chen Xinyin, who lost his arms 41 years ago due to a severe electric shock. Although many people in his situation would need assistance in many things, Xinyin insists on doing as many things as he can by himself. He even helps his neighbors complete their own chores in times of need.
According to his neighbors, Xinyin is still able to complete many of his tasks faster than people with both arms. He is extremely self-reliant and refuses to let his disability slow him down.
When Xinyin first decided he wanted to help around the farm more, one of the first things he decided to assist with was cooking. The first time Xinyin picked up a cleaver with his right foot he dropped it on his left foot. He still has a scar from that accident. Since then he has become extremely efficient in using such tools.
He started helping his father and mother with chores around the farm when he was 14 years old. His job was to take care of the goats and buffalo.
Xinyin has learned to become extremely efficient with his feet. However, this has caused him additional problems since he goes barefoot year round and has suffered frostbite several times while working outside in the cold winters without shoes or socks to protect his toes.
Another reason Xinyin doesn’t put socks on is because it takes too much time and effort to put socks on, in addition to hampering his ability to use his feet in the place of his missing hands.
Since his older siblings moved away, Xinyin is the only one taking care of their small farm which includes managing 24 goats, two buffalo, and four hens, in addition to the crops. Although he and his mother are poverty-stricken, he is able to make ends meet on his small farm and even turn a small profit working with his feet.
Xinyin’s father died when he was 20 years old, nearly 30 years ago. His mother, who is now 91 years old, had become the backbone for the family and kept it going since her husband’s death. However, over the past few years her health has started declining and then, last month, she became paralyzed, no longer able to even feed herself. Luckily, her son is able to provide for her even if that means spoon-feeding her with the spoon between his teeth.
Xinyin has had to run their small farm without any help for the past year, while caring for his aging mother. He is able to do everything he needs using either his feet or his mouth including cooking, peeling corn on the cob, planting wheat, and he can even weave baskets using only his feet.
Once a local villager suggested that Xinyin consider begging instead of working so hard on his farm using only his feet. He mentioned that beggars in larger cities can make quite a bit more money than Xinyin is currently making without breaking his back. This made Xinyin very angry. His indignant reply was, “I may have no arms, but I have good feet.” Besides, he feels he can’t leave because he worries no one would look after his geriatric mother who relies on him for her every need.
I am always impressed by people who are given a hard lot in life and still manage to have pride in everything they do. Xinyin could have turned to begging or letting everyone around him take care of him, but instead he has become the caregiver instead of the other way around. I can’t imagine being afflicted with this disability, whether through birth or through accident, as Xinyin did. My hope is, that if anything like this does befall me, I would be able to handle it as well as he has done. He is someone to look up to for his hard work and willingness to give a helping hand (or foot) to anyone in need without regard for his own circumstances.