This is the story of a man in China with no eyes and a funky looking guitar. It’s a story of a man that has very little means compared to us. It’s the story of a man about persistence, dedication, and commitment even through moments of strife.

There are a few things in life that typically will not take you to the vast far and wide places you wish to go. These are things like constant body odor, smoking (not sure if you heard, but it’ll kill ya), toxic friends, and most of all, being a lazy Piece of Sh*t.

Hey, sometimes there’s nothing I love more than shacking up in my Snuggie on a Sunday and watching The Office all-day-long. It’s okay to be a lazy POS in moderation every once in awhile. It’s good for the soul, and I love Dwight.

But what about the guy that never stops? What about the people that are doing good work and creating art and change 365 days a year, from sunrise to sundown, in rain or shine, no matter what the circumstance? What about the people that don’t have the freedom to by lazy?


There’s something about exploring other parts of the globe that seems to be one of the greatest catalysts in finding perspective and understanding in your life and in humanity in general.

When I compare the person I was before I lived in China for a year with who I was a year later, it is astounding that yes, at my root I am still the same goofy girl, but my overall self has grown and expanded in so many ways. (What a close-minded, narcissist I was before hand.;-) )

When you’re exploring uncharted territory unlike any place you’ve ever been, you’re bound to see things that blow your mind. You see the way a different culture and people interact – both in greater harmony than you’ve ever seen as well as hatred. You see their customs and traditions that are so different and so much older than your own. You see things that piss you off and humble you to a point where you think you’ll never take this or that for granted again. You  see So Freaking Much.


That year in China I saw one of the greatest examples of persistence, of anti-laziness, of never giving up I have ever seen.

Rain or shine, scorching heat, heavy snowfall, harsh winds, pouring rain (you get the picture) there was a man who sat outside the Shuangjing subway station  a block from my apartment in Beijing from dusk until dawn playing his Chinese guitar/violin Erhu.

This man was blind. He wore the same clothes each day. He grew his hair long all winter and cut it once short in the summer. He didn’t beg, he didn’t lay on the ground and give up. He worked his ass off day after day without even making a frown.

He kept going. Every single day.

While I was was in China we lived through the coldest day in 60 years and the greatest snowfall in 50 years that Beijing had experienced. He was still out there playing his Erhu for the subway riders to hear.

That is commitment. That is persistence . That is dedication.


I spent a long time on those subway rides thinking about him. He humbled me every day. He taught me be thankful for what I had, showed me what a strong work ethic is, and truly inspired me. And among the many things I took away from having this man in my life for a year, I think the following two lessons are some of the ones I’ve held most dearly:

Keep Going – Keep going even when the odds are against you, it seems like every opportunity is escaping you, and it feels like the calm after the storm will never come. Let the story of this man humble you – someone who has been handed far less on a silver planner than you and I, and is still doing everything he can 365 days a week to live his life proudly and with passion.

Explore More – It is so amazing seeking out and experiencing things that are out of the box, be it through world travel or simply by trying new things and connecting with different people. The best way to expand your mind and to really grow as a person is to stretch your limits, open your eyes, let yourself truly, deeply feel, and simply explore the unkown. There’s nothing more exciting. 🙂

Life is too short and we have too many opportunities knocking at our door to simply live a Lazy P.O.S. lifestyle. Let’s take advantage of what we’ve got and make something great of ourselves! And hey in the process, you’ll likely inspire a lot of others to do the same.

PS – It is still okay to watch the Office in your Snuggie all day Sunday. (ESPN is different haha)

What are your travel experiences that have humbled you and made you a better person?

Are you giving yourself the work ethic you deserve to reach the far & wide places you wish to go?

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About Lauren Rains

Hi my name is Lauren Rains. I write about the human experience. Through thick and thin, I’m dedicated to growth, adventure, integrity, and love. The Mad To Live is based on my pursuits, experiments, research, and lessons of challenge and triumph in all areas of life, including being entrepreneur, a writer, a philosopher, a traveler, a teacher, a student, a creative, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a significant other, a stranger and the list goes on. At the end of the day, I believe human beings are here for two reasons: 1.) to love one another with total acceptance, and 2.) to see what we’re made of as we create the possibilities for an abundant life for ourselves and for others. No more bullshit, let's just enjoy our lives.

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