Saw a Philippino man walk by me today, with one deformed leg, only half as long as a normal leg. He used one crutch and placed his small deformed foot (where his knee should have been) in the hand grip of the crutch to lengthen his deformed leg artificially to one of a normal length. I thought this was an ingenious solution, and industrious way for a man living in a third-world country with one leg half as long as the other to rectify his challenging disability. That was until I looked more closely and realized the man also had no arms! He had the top of the crutch tucked in his arm-pit as any person with two arms who uses crutches would, but only a small amount of arm stub (on either arm) extended beyond his shoulder to allow the crutch to seat into his arm-pit as he walked with the crutch leg extension.
To say the least, I found his simple mobility solution to being born with no arms, and one deformed leg to be an amazing adaptation. He was able to use one crutch to overcome his triple physical challenge, and was now walking in front of me basically using only one leg to get around. I wondered why he would be going through the trouble, to be walking around the market, and assumed he must be begging for loose change from anyone who might feel sorry for him. That was until I saw him returning to his family, sitting on a tricycle waiting for him, helping him to untie the groceries someone had tied onto each of his shoulders. It was then that I realized he had been out shopping for his family. This realization shocked me far less as the one I received, when I saw him straddle the family motorcycle, start it up, lean forward towards the steering wheel, and begin to drive away using only his armpits to steer the motorcycle! The moral of the story, be thankful for what you have, don’t feel sorry for yourself so much, and remember, where there is a will, there is always a way.
I wish I had a better picture of this man, because he is now my hero. But I didn’t want to impose upon him, or potentially embarrass him or his family with my desire to record his amazing capabilities and ingenuity. He was born with so much to overcome, he could have just felt sorry for himself, and given up along time ago, but he did not let his inability to stand, or his inability to “grab life by the horns,” stop him from walking, taking care of his family, or driving them to and from the market on a motorcycle when they needed food. So many are blessed with so much, and are clueless of their blessings… Don’t be one of those people.