Friday, December 7, 2012

Yes! You Can Make A Difference! The Inspiring Story of Lou Xiaoying.

During a conversation a colleague asked me "How can I make a difference when I am just one person?" A numerous examples came to my mind but the one I chose to reply with was the story of Lou Xiaoying which came to the surface somewhere in the middle of the summer. I happened to re-read it a few days ago and although I was familiar with the story, tears filled my eyes.

For those who may not know, infanticide and infant abandonment is very common in China due to the harsh policy that allows only one child per urban family. Poverty and political pressure force the Chinese to abandon and even infanticide babies, especially if their first child is a girl since they think a boy would financially assist better the family when it grows up, something that is believed to be the main cause of China’s gender imbalance. There are every day incidents of forced abortions, infanticide and baby abandonment in dumpsters. There are hundreds of articles and shocking photos on the web and I could go on but my point is not to make you feel angry or ashamed for the mankind. 

In contrast to the above, Lou Xiaoying is a woman of 88 years today who has rescued 30 abandoned babies from certain death in the past 40 years with the help of her late husband. Not a single one of the babies she found died, all of them are healthy and sound. She raised 4 of the children herself and gave the rest to friends and family, finding them home and protection. She has done all of this service selflessly and quietly. You see, Lou and her husband were very poor, she scavenged recyclable materials from trash cans to make a living.

"The whole thing started when I found the first baby, a little girl back in 1972 when I was out collecting rubbish. She was just lying amongst the junk on the street, abandoned. She would have died had we not rescued her and taken her in" Lou said. "Watching her grow and become stronger gave us such happiness and I realized I had a real love of caring for children. I realized if we had strength enough to collect garbage how could we not recycle something as important as human lives." That little girl is now a woman of 40 years old and has a daughter of her own.

Very poor of money but so wealthy of love and bliss! One of the daughters she raised said that regardless her poverty Lou always tried to provide them the best she could. Lou has also a biological daughter and adopted a 6th baby boy single handedly at the age of 82 when her husband had already passed out for many years.

"Even though I was already getting old I could not simply ignore the baby and leave him to die in the trash. He looked so sweet and so needy. I had to take him home with me" she said about him.


“So yes, I believe that one person can make a difference even if they are poor, old or weak” I told my colleague. What matters is the beautiful spirit of the person and not the material goods, what is important is the selfless love we can provide to each other. Look at us, we have jobs and a steady income, houses, plenty of food, cars, clothes, luxurious jewelry etc. and no matter what we accomplish, not matter how much we own it is never enough we always find something to complain about, we always want more. This woman did everything she did with just an open heart filled with love and compassion. And she did make a difference.

Daily Mail's article of Lou Xiaoying (photos from there as well).


  1. I remember this news article :) She is so inspiring, I can only aspire to be half as giving as she is.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog, love your bookshelf! I need to start getting my yoga read on too. Namaste x

  2. Thank you for stopping by too! Yes, Lou is one of those bright examples of people that should inspire us in becoming better. :)

  3. That is a great story Olympia. What is so amazing is how old and poor the woman is and that did not deter her from doing good deeds. Good luck with your Yoga practice.

    1. Exactly Mark. Thank you very much for stopping by my blog. Namaste.


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