Sunday, 4 December 2011

The most inspirational woman I’ve ever met

Nestled in the shadows of the limestone caves, in the picturesque setting of Ipoh, Malaysia, lives a truly amazing human being.

Jenny Pong Seow Chin has a gift.  If you ever get the chance to interact with her you’ll know what I’m talking about.  It’s impossible to miss, clear from the moment you see her or hear her voice.

Pong shares a modest home with seven other family members.  They live in a lush, green, wonderland, but Pong says she’s never really noticed.  She has always been far too busy working to stop and gush over the trees and mountains.

From the time she was young, Pong worked in a tire factory, earning $2/day.  It was labour intensive work, but that’s the way Pong likes it, feeling productive and taking care of herself. Even now, confined to a trolley, Pong feels it’s important to work.

When I went to visit her I asked, “Why hasn’t anyone helped you?  Why hasn’t an aid group offered you money to buy a new van or house?”  Pong told me she’s been offered donations before, but she graciously tells people she doesn’t need a hand out.  Not yet.  For now she is still able to work and that is important.  She would much rather earn her money than have it handed to her.

 Right now she is making funeral shoes, to sell as part of a Chinese tradition. Pong has found a way to keep working, even though she is disabled.  She doesn’t waste time feeling sorry for herself or worrying about what happens next.  Instead, she “brings her happiness to the front.”

She says God gave her the gift of this day, and to be happy in the moment.  How many of us have that ability?  Even though, on paper, our lives are much easier with Pong’s, few of us have the spirit and the energy to attack the day that she has.  That’s why I think Pong’s true calling is to motivate others.  If you put a microphone and a crowd of people in front of that woman, you could change lives.

To learn more about Pong's story and past see previous blogs on the Portraits of Perseverance website, or watch some of her video journals also posted on the site!

By: Morgan Reed

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