A little bit of inspiration

Helen Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) & Anne Sullivan (April 14, 1866–October 20, 1936) vacationing at Cape Cod in July 1888.
Image Credit: Global Research

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?

4 thoughts on “A little bit of inspiration

  1. I loved The Miracle Worker. I watched it in school as well and it was fascinating. I couldn’t imagine losing my most important senses and both at once would be unbearable. Ugh.

  2. I remember reading about Helen Keller ages ago when I was around 10 and spent my time at the library. I’ve always been so fascinated, how did they do it? How could they teach her to spell when she didn’t have anything to relate the letters to (seeing them or hearing them). Maybe I should see that film.

    1. I used to wonder that too but you can still relate to the touch, taste and smell of it so if it’s food you can relate the taste and the sings are signed into the hand, starting with sign for the word, once they relate the word to something then they learn to finger spell it. Same with touch, for instance doll, they can feel the doll, learn the word doll then learn to spell it. It really is fascinating!

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