Home>Service> Global Love of Lives Award> 16th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> Lin Yung-yen—Never Giving Up Warrior
 [A future social entrepreneur]

Never look down in life. Cherish the love you have and remember to give back what you have been given.
—Lin Yung-yen
Lin Yung-yen is a freshman studying at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) College of Management. He suffers from severe muscle weakness in his arms due to an accident that happened while he was four years old. 

At his parent’s encouragement, Yung-yen transcended his physical limitations and learned to do things with his two feet—including writing, playing piano and studying. He graduated top of his class in elementary school, studied art in middle school and later entered NTU, the nation’s top university for academic performance. 

He often shared his stories about overcoming the impossible with individuals in the orphanage, retirement homes and hospitals. Yung-yen’s dream is to become a social entrepreneur so that he can create more job opportunities for the minority and help them stand up on their own. 

Never give up
Yung-yen’s parents never gave up on him, and they encouraged him to live his life like a normal person. One time, they even signed up for the same cross talk competition Yung-yen did to show their unwavering support. Cross talk, or xiang sheng, is a traditional Chinese comedic performance that takes the form of a dialogue. The conversation is usually rich in puns and witty allusions. 

“We didn’t know a thing about cross talk but we wanted to teach our child a lesson: always finish what you started,” said Huang Yi-shan, Yung-yen’s mother. 

She said this was her way of telling Yung-yen that dropping out of the competition was not an option, even though he had thought about it before. Yung-yen eventually followed through the competition and won an award for his exceptional performance as a cross talk actor. 

Taking care of Yung-yen is no easy feat. Since Yung-yen has lost strength in his arms, his parents need to be by his side and function as surrogate arms. His father quit his job as a junior high school English teacher and started his own cram school. His mother also left her position as a civil servant. 

Yung-yen is grateful to his parents and knows that the only way to repay their kindness is to be more independent and less needy. Although he has only two feet at disposal, Yung-yen can still write, paint, sing, play piano, swim, use the computer and play whipping top.

Social entrepreneur to be
“The meaning of life is about maintaining a positive attitude during times of failure. In difficult times, we should stay strong and make the most of our lives,” Yung-yen said in a speech made to inspire students. 

Perseverance has rewards. Were it not for his parent’s unconditional love and care, Yung-yen probably would be in a worse condition than he is right now. Yung-yen has decided to pass down the legacy by becoming a social entrepreneur in the future. 

Using his feet, Yung-yen wrote the following article for his mother.

A sharp cry ripped through the seventh floor of a hospital in Miaoli on a cold wintery night. I was brought to this world by my loving parents. Since I am the first and the only son in the family, my mother gave me all her attention and love. Two years later, she gave birth to my sister. Although my mother is overloaded with work, she always smiles at me.

Life is not all roses. When I was four, I got into an accident and damaged the motor nerves, losing the ability to use my arms. The news came as a great shock to my mother, who bathed in tears after my injury. 

I understood from an early age that I look different from others. I felt terrible when others point their fingers at me and made fun of me. My mother, on the other hand, was much stronger. She bought me inspirational books and comforted me with stories about great heroes of faith. 

When I turned five, she tried teaching me how to write. My hands, however, were too feeble and the attempt turned out to be a failure. One day, she came across a story about Grace Yang, a locally renowned foot painting artist, and thought it’d be a good idea for me to write with my feet. With an eraser between my left toes and a pencil in right toes, I began to write. 

“You shouldn’t care what others think of you. They will respect you when you achieve something great one day,” she said to me. I owe everything I am today to my mother. Although I’m a university student, she still accompanies me to school and help me out with homework. 

My mother is like a big tree; she always supports me in whatever I do. She is also like a dictionary of life because she teaches me how to get along with others. My mother is a great woman. 

If I can use my hands like a normal person, the first thing I would do is to give her a big hug and thank her for the sacrifices and hardship she endured.