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It's not the hand we're dealt, it's how we play it

Updated: 2022-08-12 08:25 ( China Daily )
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Erjiu.[Provided to China Daily]

Living in a world oftentimes overrun with elements of conspicuous consumption, materialism, self-obsession and the desire for fame, it was refreshing to watch the recent video released on Bilibili about an inspiring uncle and the abridged tale of his life.

And I was not alone, the video, entitled How Erjiu Cured My Mental Anguish After Three Days Back in the Village, has been viewed over 40 million times.

Shot by former history teacher Tang Hao on a return trip to the rural village where he grew up, the video tells the story of his second uncle on his mother's side, and how he went from being a promising student in his teens to being left lame in one leg by a botched medical procedure. With his whole future ahead of him, Erjiu's dreams were stopped dead.

Despite being struck with adversity at a young age, Erjiu, now 66, has gone on to lead a fulfilling life. Not dwelling on his misfortune, he instead developed skills such as woodworking, as well as those enabling him to fix basically anything apart from a laptop or phone. As a result, he is one of the most important members of the community he lives in.

And despite not marrying, Erjiu adopted a daughter and spent his life savings buying her a home after she got married. Today, he cares for his 88-year-old mother.

Tang's video following Erjiu around his village for three days, observing his good deeds and his caring nature, puts into perspective the tawdry troubles many of us complain about in our own day-to-day lives. I will certainly think twice about grumbling the next time my flat white tastes a bit bitter or my internet is slow.

After three years of a pandemic and countless other external problems, we can surely all relate, at least in some small way, to misfortune and things in our lives not going the way we would really have liked them to have done. I know I have.

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