Liu Wei of Beijing lost his arms at age ten. At nineteen, he took up the piano. At twenty-three, he wowed the judges on China’s Got Talent.
Liu Wei told the judges: “I think I have only two choices in my life: Either die now or live a wonderful life.”
Click here to watch the above video with English subtitles.
According to Shanghai Associated Press:
Pianist Liu Wei sits quietly to compose himself before plunging into the music. Then he takes off a sock.
The 23-year-old, whose arms were amputated after a childhood accident, plays the piano with his toes.
Liu was thrust into the limelight earlier this month when he performed on “China’s Got Talent,” the Chinese version of the TV show that helped make Britain’s Susan Boyle a singing star.
“Whatever other people do with their hands, I do with my feet. It’s just that,” says Liu, a tall, slender man who peers shyly from behind dark-rimmed glasses.
In his first appearance, Liu received a standing ovation from the audience, many of whom were moved to tears, for a performance of “Mariage D’amour” by Richard Clayderman.
During an interview with The Associated Press in Shanghai, where the show is filmed, he played a still unnamed, poignant piece he composed himself.
Sitting on a tallish red stool, he removed his shoes and right sock, carefully using his toes to place the sock in his right shoe. (He plays with his left sock on.) He wiped some of the keys with a tissue, and then rested his heels on a velvet-covered, narrow platform before the piano.
Time after time, he played the piece gently and flawlessly.
Liu, who was 10 when he lost his arms from an electrical shock while playing hide-and-seek, uses his feet to navigate online, eat, dress and brush his teeth.
“I wish I could go out driving to have fun. Apart from that, there is really nothing more I want to do,” said Liu, who lives in Beijing. “Music has become a habit for me. It is just like breathing air.”
He only began playing the piano in his late teens.
“Nobody ever decreed that to play the piano you must use your hands,” he said.
Prosthetic limbs don’t interest Liu. He has no need for special support, he said, though he conceded he has often met with discrimination. Disabled people in China, despite efforts to improve conditions, are often forced to beg on the sidewalks. Liu is able to support himself, though he wouldn’t say how.
“I have food to eat and clothes to wear and many people caring about me. What is there to be dissatisfied about?” he said. “There are many people without enough to eat. I’m much more fortunate than they are.”
Sun Ganlu, a writer and arts critic in Shanghai, said that, whatever the commercial motives behind “China’s Got Talent,” the show is raising awareness in a positive way.
“The fact is that people are touched by these great performers, regardless of whether they are disabled or poor,” he said. “They are struggling in life compared with others, but they also have hobbies and talents to get them through their tough lives.”
“It helps people be more aware of whether we are doing too little to help these people,” he added.
Liu’s biggest beef is with people who insist on helping him without asking first.
“Here, if someone thinks you need help they will just do it. They assume you must want help,” he said. “Foreigners will ask first if you want any help. They will first respect your wishes. In that way, China could make an improvement.”
Liu would like to be seen just as a pianist.
“Right now, everyone looks at me and says, ‘Oh, Liu Wei has no arms and it’s very difficult for him to play the piano,'” he said. “In the future, I want them to say, ‘Oh he’s good.’ To first notice the work is great, and then say, ‘Liu Wei did it.’ … What I demand is that my work be so good people won’t notice that my arms are missing.”
Click here to view all my posts featuring people who have triumphed over physical challenges.
ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
If you feel more stressed than blessed . . . if you have more confusion than clarity about how to live your beliefs . . . if you long to live a richer, happier, more meaningful life . . . you will find a wealth of insight and guidance in Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World.
Through God’s Eyes is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the only book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.
Readers everywhere are discovering that when you challenge yourself to look through God’s eyes, the world around you changes, and so do you.
Who will benefit from reading Through God’s Eyes?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to be.
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to.
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier.
Click here to visit the Through God’s Eyes website.
Click on the link below to download a FREE 28-page chapter!
SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT
Click here to read endorsements from authors and thought leaders.
Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers.
Click here to ask Phil to add you to his e-mail list for updates on his blog and books.
Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.
Order it at GodIsLogical.com.
In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• How do you reconcile the “free will vs. Divine Will” conundrum?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.
Click here to order Sixty Seconds.
Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers.
Here is a three-minute video introduction to Sixty Seconds.