“For many generations, more than we can count, we bowed our heads and submitted to blindness and begging. This blind and deaf woman lifts her head high and teaches us to win our way back by work and laughter. She brings light and hope to the heart.” Quote from a Japanese woman about Helen Keller
As we’re celebrating the 100th anniversary of International Woman’s Day, I have decided to choose on of the many great women in history and write about her. One of the many great women I admire and inspire me most is Helen Keller.
Helen Keller was born in United State in the state of Alabama on June 27, 1880, and although she was born healthy, when she was 19 months old she got sick, contracted a very horrible fever and as a result of that she ended up deaf and blind.
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” Helen Keller
As a deaf and blind child, she communicated using specific signs that were given a specific value. As she grew older she realized that those around her can communicate by using words and because of that she started suffering and her pain got more intense as years would go by. At the age of almost seven, her family got herself a tutor, Anne Sullivan who would have a great influence on her life. Anne taught Helen words by signing them in her hands so she could be able to feel them.
Helen learned how to speak verbally, she learned how to read and write Braille, a language where letters are made from raised dots, she also learned Tacoma, reading people’s lips by touching them as they moved and felt the vibrations.
In 1896, they both returned to Massachusetts and Keller entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies before gaining admittance, in 1900, to Radcliffe College. Mark Twain admired her very much and that was one of the reasons he introduced her to the Standard Oil magnate Henry Huttletson Rogers who paid for her education.
While in college, Helen wrote her own autobiography that was titled The Story of My Life, and in 1904, at the age of 24, Helen Keller graduated from Radcliffe, becoming the first blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Helen Keller
She also maintained a correspondence with the Austrian philosopher and pedagogue, Wilhelm Jerusalem. In 1932 she was elected vice president of the United Kingdom’s Royal Nation Institute for the Blind.
Helen went to become a world- famous speaker and author and until this day she is remembered as an advocate for people with disabilities among many others. In 1915 she and George Kessler founded the Helen Keller Institute(HKI) organization, an organizations devoted to research in vision, health and nutrition and in 1920 she helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU).This amazing woman met every U.S. President from Grover to Johnson and was friends with many famous figures, including Alexander Graham Bell, Mark Twain and Charlie Chaplin.
She died in her sleep on June 1, 1968.
“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.” Helen Keller
Helen Keller is one of the many great examples to prove us all that there are no limits, no boundaries, only those we choose to impose on ourselves. If you think you can do something you will do it, and if you think you can’t, you won’t!
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” Helen Keller
( Source: Wikipedia, Angelfire )