Dumb, deaf and blind, she became at the age of 19 months and rest of her life is nothing but an unforgettable saga of surmounting her physical obstacles and inspiring triumphs.
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By reading her biography, A Story of My Life, you will not only be inspired and moved by her words but will also be encouraged to imprint the story of you own life in the pages of your life’s run. Her embroiling story of grit, determination and perseverance despite having such physical challenges will force you to think and inspect your own life from a different angle and her lessons of gratitude and compassion will teach you meaning of love and relationship with its new different definition.
At the end of the read, you will be compelled to say what a marvel, what a wonder she was and was named Helen Keller and how through her courageous deeds she showed to the world what it means to have a vision in life without having vision in one’s own visual organ!
Therefore, there can be innumerable lessons to learn from her life, as revealed in her autobiography, but for this post today here come 3 lessons for you to think and ponder.
1. Accept with grace and gratitude what comes in your life. Born on 27 June 1880 in a small town in Tuscumbia, northern Alabama, Helen’s life was changed when she was caught by scarlet fever, as the doctors say now, at the age of 19 months, leaving her blind, deaf and dumb at such an early age. Struggling hard to understand what happened with her, she became a kind of an unruly child in her own home. The world became dark, black and colorless for her and so was her soul, searching and wandering for light and hope relentlessly.
It took her time to accept this, but she did accept her fate and embraced it with great love. But not as a pessimist but one of the greatest optimist in the human history. As she says
“Do not think of today’s failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow.”
2. Understand that Parents are our guardian Angels. While little Helen was struggling hard to find meaning of things, objects and people in her life, in many of her unsuccessful attempts, she ran amuck to explain to her parents her pain, her helplessness and her bewilderment, but in her sullen disguise. Her parents, despite being blown by the tragedy themselves took great care of Helen and handled her with great compassion and love.
Her father, Arthur H Keller, was a captain in the Confederate and her mother, Kate Adams was his second wife. In words of Helen, it was her mother who taught her the sign language which she mastered even before the arrival of her teacher.
Helen mentions how her parents made all the possible attempts to provide the best environment, nurturing and education to her and it was all result of their ceaseless efforts because of which she could meet her life’s transforming teacher Miss Anne Sullivan.
It was in their search for a teacher for Helen and on advice of Graham Bell that her parents visited Perkins Institute of Blind in Massachusetts and on recommendation of the Director of the Blind School they approached Miss Anne Sullivan as Helen’s Teacher. Her teacher’s arrival was no less than a miracle for Helen.
And talking of angels and lost opportunities in life thus says Helen, “I wonder what becomes of lost opportunities? Perhaps our guardian angel gathers them up as we drop them, and will give them back to us in the beautiful sometime when we have grown wiser, and learned how to use them rightly.”
3. Treasure Your Childhood and its beautiful memories. For no one could paint such vivid and inspiring picture with words as Helen did in her work. Writing her life’s story at the age of 22, she captures not only her beautiful childhood memories but also with candidness shares her daring and adventurous childhood pranks. In her words, “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.”
A naughty child as she was, she explained how, like all children of her age, she played many pranks. She shared her love for hunting guinea-fowl eggs and playing with her dog Belle. In one of her attempts she even tried to teach him her sign language but was disappointed to see his progress.
She loved preparing for Christmas. Enjoying fumes and multiple odors which filled the house at Christmas time, were the things for which she eagerly awaited.
As she unveiled her childhood memories, she mentioned one of her attempts where in order to dry her apron before the fire, she soon reached into its engulfment. Had her old nurse not come at right time, she would have been leaped and consumed by fire forever.
In fact, one day she even locked up her mother in the pantry, where she kept on waiting for her release while Helen kept on enjoying the jar’s pounding noise sitting outside her mom’s locked up room. And it was soon after this incident that her parents decided to look for a teacher for Helen’s grooming and mentoring.
And then her life changed with the arrival of her teacher and she realized that “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.”
Her lonely outcry then become a song of her companionship and her life bloomed and shined like rose in the early morning sun.
- So, if you find the role of destiny and fate in your life, accept it with grace and gratitude as Helen did. Don’t crib, don’t repent and welcome it as a blessing in disguise.
- Be thankful that you have your parents who shower their eternal blessings and love on you. Think about those who are bereft of this treasure. Aren’t you lucky enough for this?
- Try to look for happiness pearls and crazy stories in your childhood kitty and you will be amazed to find them in galore. Don’t they make you so reach and wealthy already ?
- And yes, you can see, hear, speak, admire and appreciate the things, nature, lands and oceans around you. But do you do that? Now think before you speak. Wonder before you travel. Appreciate nature and be grateful to all the things that you have. Ask those who don’t have.
Because Helen’s life inspires you to focus on developing the inner strength of your character and motivates you to travel deep down into your soul and see what vision and voice awaits there for its awakening deep within you.