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. Helen 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, Helen Keller overcame her disabilities with the aide of mentor Anne Sullivan. 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 partial 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
An elderly nurse believed there was hope, however, and she made it her mission to show love to the child. Every day she visited Little Annie. For the most part, the child did not acknowledge the nurseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s presence, but she still continued to visit.
Eventually, doctors noticed a change in the girl. Where they once witnessed anger and hostility, they now noted an emerging gentleness and love until the child was released.
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.
Those you have sought to reach, whether 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.