Day 278 in Beijing: Life Is What You Make It.

The papercut we bought from Zhang Yonghong.

The papercut we bought from Zhang Yonghong.

I’ve been expounding on my belief is that life is what we make it for the last week or so.

I’d like to give an example of that ideal right here in Beijing.

It has nothing to do with me other than I happened to meet this person.

He didn’t use behavioral therapy, at least not that I know of, and he didn’t seem to have a “coming into the light” realization moment.

He had to make this realization at a very young age.

An age that most people would think, “Someone so young can’t decide for themselves what to do.”

I disagree.

I have hope, and a belief, that many people can make decisions for themselves, at a much younger age, than we believe.

I’ve seen it many times when working with clients.

I’ve seen it with kids I know.

Give them a proper set up, and the options, and they will make a choice.

It might not be the choice we believe is the right one, but they will learn from the consequences and move forward.

You survived your childhood.

So will most other kids.

Jill and I were walking around Nanluoguxiang, a very cool and old part of Beijing, and happened to see some posters on the wall with an article and beautiful papercut designs next to it.

We read the article and then went inside.

Let me introduce you to Zhang Yonghong.

He was born with brittle bone disease, less commonly known as osteogenesis imperfecta, and it seems horrific.

He is has had over 100 fractures in his life and his body seems to be quite small and he had a hard time moving around on his tiny bed.

He lives in this office, full of his art, and his bed, and without much room for much else.

His assisstant came out and we did our best to converse with both of them.

They both smiled a lot and were incredibly friendly.

We pointed out which piece of art we wanted and bought it.

It was 30RMB.

That comes out to about 5 USD.

We actually felt some shame that we weren’t paying more or buying a larger piece of art.

We had a party to go to and didn’t have the ability to carry it at that point.

However, we are planning on going back and buying more for gifts to give to our friends in the USA when we return.

Sadly, as you will read in the article posted below, was born with the same affliction and his wife left him.

She lives in his hometown and comes to Beijing twice a year for medical care.  It costs about 5000 USD per visit and he has stopped his medical care since he can’t afford to pay for both of them.

I have no idea if there is a way to do a crowdsourcing movement to help him with his medical bills, or to help him support his daughter, but I’d love to hear any ideas anyone has.

By the way, this is the same disease that “The Kid President” has if you’ve seen his videos.

Amazingly, both The Kid President and Zhang have the same amazing positive attitude.

Click here for the link to the article, “Life by a thousand cuts.

Ps. My friend, Katherine Rodriguez did the photography for the article linked above.  I think she did a wonderful job of catching his beauty, grace and charm.

I did not photograph him as I thought that would be offensive and rude.  He seemed to be such a kind person that he may not have minded.

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