BY KATE WOOD
It doesn’t happen often, but every now and then you hear a story about people overcoming all odds to help others and it completely changes your perspective of the world. The story of Jia Haixia and Jia Wenqi is certainly one of these.
Haixia and Wenqi are two 53-year-old men from China who have faced incredible challenges in their lives. Haixia was born with congenital cataracts that caused him to be blind in one eye. He then lost sight in his one good eye after a work accident in 2000. Wenqi tragically lost both of his arms in an accident when he was only three years old and has been living as a double amputee ever since.
Despite their physical setbacks, Haixia and Wenqi have remained utterly determined to live life to the fullest. These two best friends help one another navigate the world and when they’re together there is nothing that they cannot do.
Adding to their amazing story of friendship is the fact that the pair have managed to plant over 10,000 trees over the course of the past 10 years.
“I am his hands,” said Haixia. “He is my eyes. We are good partners.”
The pair met in 2001 when they were both struggling to find work because of their disabilities.
Neither wanted to “give up” on life, so they hatched a plan to plant trees to earn money.
By planting trees, they could give back to the community and ensure a better future for others. With this idea in mind, they set out to lease three acres of land from the government and got to work.
Haixia and Wenqi rise every day at 7AM and set out to plant trees. When they reach the busy stream they need to cross to get to their site, Wenqi carries Haixia to the other side.
Money is tight, but the pair are determined to reforest their land. Unable to buy new saplings, they use cuttings from older trees to sprout new life.
When it comes time to scale trees to collect cuttings, Wenqi carefully directs Haixia, acting as his eyes.
The work requires much patience and the fruits of their labors are not always apparent. But seeing young saplings grow inch by inch is enough to bring Haixia and Wenqi peace of mind.
“We stand on our own feet,” Wenqi tells Oddity Central. “The fruits of our labor taste sweeter. Even though we are gnawing on steam buns, we find peace in our hearts.”
A number of generous people have volunteered to help Haixia and Wenqi after hearing their story; one kind benefactor has offered to pay for a surgery that could help restore Haixia’s sight, and another has donated money towards their pensions to ensure they always have a good roof over their heads and enough food to eat.
Isn’t it amazing to see one kind action turn into countless others? Take a page from these two today and help keep the compassion going!