Sun Jifa – Self-Made Tin Man

Whenever cold and flu season rolls around, I tend to end up a little conflicted on a regular basis. While I’m definitely sympathetic when someone doesn’t feel well, I also have to admit that when someone complains about their debilitating aches and sniffles, part of me wants to say “Really?” Because while I’m not a big insensitive lout, I was raised to sort of tough it out a little unless there’s an actual open wound or fevers over 103 degrees. I know, I know – self care is important. But so is LIVING, and I just have a hard time doing it on my back or bellyaching from behind a Kleenex.

Which is probably why I was so impressed with the story of Sun Jifa, a Chinese fellow who lost his hands in a fishing-related accident. When the hospital told him how much the prosthetic replacements would cost, he did what any thrifty shopper with workshop skills might do – HE MADE HIS OWN. Granted, his accident was the result of some other, not-so-bright DIY pursuits, i.e.: a person not trained in explosives making a bomb for blast fishing, but hey. A person has to make a living, right?

So it turns out our grandma was probably right whenever she said all that obnoxious stuff about starving kids in Africa and how we should be happy we can even have ARMS AND LEGS. Sun Jifa’s little story of badassery inspired me in several ways. Aside from confirming that making explosives at home is probably a bad idea, and that blast fishing is perhaps a bit unsportsmanlike, it also made me thankful for the things I have. Like both hands! And work that doesn’t require literally risking life and limb. It also reminded me that with enough attitude and hard work, pretty much nothing can stop you! Read Sun Jifa’s whole story in this Daily Mail piece .

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