I think that almost everyone can say that they have been inspired by someone at some point in their life. This could be someone living who they have met, someone who they have never met or someone who died long before they were even born. Either way, that person or persons have had a big influence on their life or has just served as a source of in inspiration.
I would have to say that for me it would be both Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan both pictured above. A lot of people have at least heard of Helen Keller. She was born in Alabama in the US in 1880. Around the age of 19 months she was struck with illness (most likely Scarlet Fever or Meningitis) which left her both deaf and blind.
Who most people are not so familiar with however is her teacher Anne Sullivan. Anne Sullivan was born in 1866 and at the age of 20 in 1887 went to work with Helen at her home in Alabama. Anne herself was visually impaired from untreated trachoma that she contracted around 7 years earlier. She quickly went to work teaching Helen to communicate by spelling words into her hand.
I remember from the movie The Miracle Worker Anne teaching her to spell her first word “d-o-l-l”, which was a doll that she had brought with her as a present for Helen. Ever since watching that movie in Junior High School in my American Sign Language (ASL) class I have been intrigued by Anne and Helen both. The patience and understanding that Anne must have had with and for Helen would have had to have been phenomenal.
Imagine loosing either your hearing or your site. Now imagine loosing both at the same time. Now image this when you are very young and just learning to communicate. Suddenly you are in a dark silent world that you can only feel and smell and taste. You can no longer hear it and you can no longer see it. The frustration would have had to have been endless, I would imagine.
For Helen herself to overcome this, to learn to communicate and accomplish as much as she did in her life and for Anne to have the courage, strength and patience (which Helen also obviously had herself as well) to teach her and to guide her along her way. To me they are both truly inspirational. They have taught me that if you are willing you can overcome anything.
So I would like to know. Who do you find inspirational? And why?