Kids Corner

Both photos below: by Raminder Pal Singh. Thumbnail image: courtesy - Teraroop.


What's Your Handicap?



As I was idling away time a few evenings ago, flipping through the TV channels, I came to a show called "Real Sports". It's a well-known program I'd heard of but never seen until that day. I stayed on it because I'd been unable to find anything else that interested me.

This show highlights athletes who have, in overcoming personal adversity, excelled in the world of sports.

They  were showing the story of a young man who goes to high school in Columbia. He is a wrestler, weighs about 103 lbs. and has a record of 22 wins and 8 losses. He just broke a world record by lifting over 200 lbs. of weight and did 29 repetitions. That's impressive for anyone, because that's 200% of the body weight. I assure you, not a lot of us can do that or even come close to it. 

What makes this story more remarkable is that this young man is only 2 1/2 feet tall and has no forearms or legs.

He is so good that he probably will get a sponsorship for his college education at one of the Ivy universities. Other kids that are bigger than him are afraid to fight him. And he seems to be so full of life ... always smiling ... makes one wonder if he ever has any low moments or if he ever feels sad about his handicap.

In fact, someone did ask him that particular question on the show and he said yes, he has his moments. However, he also added, he has learnt to make the best of the hand that life has dealt him.

Has he made the best of what he has?

He is so good at wrestling that people think of his handicap as an advantage. They say that because he has no legs or arms, there's really nothing to pin him down with. Some argue that an average whole-body weight is 100+ lbs., but his middle body alone weighs that much ... and these are his peers and seniors talking, some of whom are well over 5'8" in height!

Stories like these are very motivating for me. I couldn't help but muse on how easily we give up in life, how we get so down on ourselves when we get tripped up by difficulties, how we refuse to or are unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel ... 

And here is a young man who has every reason to complain and be upset. But, he decided to fight the good fight and rise above his limitations, to the point that his "weaknesses" have become his strengths.

I couldn't help thanking Waheguru for making me watch this show, because it is through this young man's life that I have learnt not to complain about trivial things, and make the best of what I have got. 

As I went to bed that night, I couldn't help wondering how often I remember to count my blessings and not get down on myself at the first "bad" thing that happens to me and complain, "Why me, O Lord?"

The loving words from Gurbani ring in my ears:

Je sukh deh ta tujhe araadhee

Dukh bhee tujhe dhiayee

Je bhukh deh ta it hee raajaa

Dukh vich sookh manaayee


Thou blesseth me with happiness,

I worship and adore Thee.

But, when pain comes my way,

I meditate on Thee still.

Even if hunger is my lot,

I will remain satisfied;

Joyful may I ever be,

Even in the midst of sorrow.

[GGS, M4, 757:11


Conversation about this article

1: Manjit Kaur KBS (U.S.A.), September 07, 2007, 11:24 AM.

Thanks for sharing such an inspirational story. It reminded me of another one that changed my perspective on life long time it is: A 10-year-old boy decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident. The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn't understand why, after three months of training, the master had taught him only one move. "Sensei," the boy finally said, "Shouldn't I be learning more moves?" "This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you'll ever need to know," the sensei replied. Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training. Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals. This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened. "No," the sensei insisted, "Let him continue." Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion. On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind. "Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?" "You won for two reasons," the sensei answered. "First, you've almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm." The boy's biggest weakness had become his biggest strength. Sometimes we feel that we have certain weaknesses and we blame God, the circumstances and our self for it, but we never know that our weakness can become our strength one day. Each of us is special and important, so never think you have any weakness, never think of pride or pain, just live your life to its fullest and extract the best and the most out of it!

2: Gurpreet Kaur Singh (Chino Hills, U.S.A.), September 07, 2007, 11:57 AM.

Very touching and inspiring. Thanks for sharing it. It is stories like these that make us realize we should be thankful for what we have and make the best of it, rather than complain about what we don't. "Count your blessings, name them one by one", as we used to sing in school ...

3: Harbani Singh (New Delhi, India), September 07, 2007, 12:33 PM.

Inspiring. It's very true that when something bad happens to us, we remember God ... but when we're happy, we tend to forget the One. It's very important for all of us to look at the positive side of everything and not let anything or anyone come in the way of achieving our goals in life. Thanks for sharing.

4: Harmala kaur Uberai (Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.), September 07, 2007, 1:19 PM.

This article makes a very good point: if we could all indeed count our blessings more often, there would be less discontentment in the world. Bhagat Kabir ji's words exemplify this thought beautifully: Dukh mein simran sabh karen, Sukh mein Kare na koye, Jo sukh mein simran kare, To dukh kaahe ko hoe. Very simply, Kabir ji says: We all remember God during moments of distress, but forget to pray to him Him or be thankful for what we have during our happier moments. But if we were to keep God in our heart, and be grateful for His bounties, especially during good times, then life's lows would not bother us or cause us distress.

5: Brijinder Kaur Khurana (New Delhi, India), September 07, 2007, 11:02 PM.

Very touching and encouraging reality. We cannot call it a story of a super-human fighting and proving to the whole world that we are puny in front of him. But, reading this article has certainly encouraged me to overlook the hurdles of life and start each day with a fresh and positive attitute. From now onwards, I will never sit and mope over difficulties, but instead dwell on the blessings. Thanks to Mr. Kavi Raj Singh and for bringing real information to share with us. It soothes the mind.

6: Pritam Singh Grewal (Canada), September 08, 2007, 12:06 AM.

I think 'dhaindee kala' is mostly the answer to the question, "What's Your Handicap?"

7: Anchal Kaur Ahluwalia (Chino Hills, California, U.S.A.), September 08, 2007, 4:18 PM.

I really liked this story! It shows that not all our heroes are people with superpowers, like so many movies and comics say, but that there are people who are real heroes in our everyday lives.

8: Gurbux Singh (Chatsworth,California, U.S.A.), September 09, 2007, 3:20 PM.

What an inspiration! We should always count our blessings and not dwell upon the impediments in life that might slow us down. Waheguru has blessed us with His infinite Bounty. If we steer away from excuses, an abundance of solutions lie in wait.

9: Kunwarjit Singh (New Delhi, India), September 09, 2007, 11:56 PM.

This story by Kavi and the one by Manpreet (Unsung Heroes) ... both are really inspirational true life profiles. They give us the reason to believe in ourselves and be able to achieve the impossible ("I am possible!"). We have deep strengths within but are not able to understand them because we are always fighting our negative thoughts.

10: Maninder (Pomona, U.S.A.), September 10, 2007, 5:24 PM.

Thank you for this very inspirational story. You are so right - we get so caught up in what we don't have that we forget to see what we do have; forget to delve within and see the unique strengths Waheguru has bestowed on us. One such unique individual I spoke to a few years ago, helps people with disabilities re-enter the workforce. He himself has no arms, drives to work (with his feet), and feels he has no handicap! Thank you again for helping us "reset" our thinking.

11: Rachana (Bangkok, Thailand), September 15, 2007, 10:36 AM.

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story. This reinforces the need for each of us to be true and loving, as well as being appreciative of our blessings.

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