A Chapter of My Life "God helps those who help themselves." This sounds like a simple passage from a religious book, but it has an overwhelming significance in my life. This phrase is greatly responsible for building self- esteem and confidence in me. It can also be credited for transforming a shy, introverted, and confused boy into a very confident and enlightened adult. I neither read the phrase from a book nor heard it at a religious service. I heard these words from someone who really understands the meaning of the phrase.

That person's name is Ameet Handa. Ameet is suffering from multiple disabilities. I met him at the institution for the Disabled People in New Delhi, India, where I was sent by the school I was attending in India, to observe and understand the lives of people who are incapacitated. At that time I was on the high school cricket team and I was having problems with my shoulder, which was dislocated from the joint. This incident happened while I was playing cricket with my teammates.

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I was a fast bowler and my team needed me to win one game in which I hurt myself by throwing the ball. I did not play cricket for almost one year. After one year the school wanted me to play cricket and I played one game. I did not have any problem in that game, but in the second game I broke my hand so badly that I could not lift any we! ight with my hand. My school sent me to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, which was the best hospital in India, for surgery on my shoulder. There I met Ameet Handa who was 20 years old.

Ameet was a person of charming personality. In spite of his multiple disabilities, I always saw him smiling. We soon became good friends. The first week before the surgery, when they were treating my shoulder the only place I was aware of was my room in the hospital. One day Ameet came up to me and said, "Bhavesh, what is wrong with you, I have never seen you smile." I told him everything about my shoulder condition, and how I felt about it.

He did not say anything at that moment, but after few hours he asked me to accompany him on a trip within the institute. What I saw during that trip was unbelievable. I saw many people whose physical disabilities were worse than mine. There was a girl who was learning to type with her toes, and there was another blind young man who was working on some machine. Ameet looked at me and said, "The difference between you and these people is that you have conceded the battle, and they are still fighting, and many of them are winning the battles of life." He also said that if I thought that I could not do anything, there was no way I could achieve anything in my life.

He said, "God helps those who help themselves." This trip opened the closed door of my mind. I realized that life is too precious to waste by worrying about the things that are beyond my control. Ameet's inspiration and the support of my family, friends and teachers have contributed in the success I have achieved. Due to the surgeries, which were performed on my shoulder about six years ago, my shoulder improved a lot. I do not! know what my life would have been like if I had not met Ameet. The first moment after the surgery when I opened my eyes, I did not feel my hand moving.

I cried for that moment until the doctor said that my shoulder was fine, but also he told me that I could not play again at least for next six month. I was so happy that I could play again. The one thing I am not happy with is that I can not bowl as fast as I used to bowl. I started playing again after three months, but I miss those days when I was hero of my high school. Life is too short to waste on unimportant matters.

I now enjoy every moment of my life. I have traveled to many countries, and from my experience I can tell that our world is not at all a bad place to live. I agree that there are a few bad people in the world, but there are also many wonderful people from whom you can learn a lot. I thank God that I learned my lesson early. .