Most of you have probably never heard of Hellen Keller. Well, up until recently I hadnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t either. But when I did learn of her, and saw some of her works, I was amazed.
Keller was an American lecturer, author and activist. Deaf and blind since early childhood, and living in an era where most individuals similarly afflicted were consigned to an asylum, Keller overcame her disabilities with the aid of mentor Anne Sullivan and rose to international fame.
Despite the social obstacles of her time, she became the first deaf/blind person to graduate from college. As an adult, she travelled the world, campaigned for civil rights, world peace, human dignity and womenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rights, and authored many books and essays. This article on her humble beginnings, written by Steve Goodier, is worth sharing, I think.
A Life That Makes a Difference.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“How do you account for your remarkable accomplishment in life?Ã¢â‚¬Â Queen Victoria of England asked Helen Keller. Ã¢â‚¬Å“How do you explain the fact that even though you were both blind and deaf, you were able to accomplish so much?Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ms. KellerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s answer is a tribute to her dedicated teacher: Ã¢â‚¬Å“If it had not been for Anne Sullivan, the name of Helen Keller would have remained unknown.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Noone believed in the little girlÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s redemption but an elderly nurse believed there was hope, however, and she made it her mission to show love to the child.
Eventually, doctors noticed a change in the girl. Where they once witnessed anger and hostility, they now noted an emerging gentleness and love.
Anne Sullivan grew into a young woman with a desire to help others as she, herself, was helped by the loving nurse. It was she who saw the great potential in Helen Keller. She loved her, disciplined her, played with her, pushed her, and worked with her until the flickering candle that was her life became a beacon of light to the world. Anne Sullivan worked wonders in HelenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s life, but it was a loving nurse who first believed in Little Annie and lovingly transformed an uncommunicative child into a compassionate teacher.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If it had not been for Anne Sullivan, the name of Helen Keller would have remained unknown.Ã¢â‚¬Â But if it had not been for a kind and dedicated nurse, the name of Anne Sullivan would have remained unknown. And so it goes. Just how far back does the chain of redemption extend? And how for forward will it lead?
Those you have sought to reach, whether they be in your family or elsewhere, are part of a chain of love that can extend through the generations. Your influence on their lives, whether or not you see results, is immeasurable. Your legacy of dedicated kindness and caring can transform lost and hopeless lives for years to come.
You can never overestimate the power of your love. It is a fire that, once lit, may burn forever.