What are the odds of someone doing extraordinary things if that person lost their sight, hearing and speech at nineteen months of age? Helen Keller overcame enormous disadvantages to influence the world. Although her teacher and mentor, Anne Sullivan, achieved great results with her, ultimately, Keller’s success was up to Keller.
How many of you feel sorry for yourselves because you can’t do something? Keller had so many reasons to wallow in self-pity. She was born in the late nineteenth century and did not have the technical advantages that physically-challenged people now have. Keller made the most out of her situation.
Here are a couple of examples of how Keller succeeded:
1. As a little girl, Keller said, “Someday, I shall go to college.”
Keller received her Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in 1904 from Radcliffe College. How many of you have been persistent enough to earn a bachelor’s degree? Congratulations to those who have earned a Bachelor’s degree, like Keller did. If you earned your degree, you could have given plenty of reasons to have given up on earning your degree. What was Keller’s excuse? She didn’t have an excuse! Keller, blind and deaf, graduated cum laude.
2. Keller wrote about a dozen books
Some of Keller’s published works include The World I Live In; The Song of the Stone Wall; Out of the Dark; My Religion; Midstream–My Later Life; Peace at Eventide; Helen Keller in Scotland; Helen Keller’s Journal; Let Us Have Faith; Teacher, Anne Sullivan Macy; and The Open Door.
There are many current and aspiring writers who are struggling to finish just one book. Keller’s works inspired many people because of her major disabilities. How many people can you inspire through your written works? Every one of you has a unique story to tell and it’s waiting to be read.
Most of your five senses are operational. Keller only had three operational senses. She learned to speak at age nine with help from Anne Sullivan. Keller’s determination to avoid major obstacles to deter her is one of the most inspiring things about her. The next time we are having it rough, think about how rough a deal Keller had and all of the accomplishments she had.