Saturday, 1 June 2013

Helen Keller : Sir Winston Churchill : " Helen Keller is the greatest woman of our age"


Helen Keller
Sir Winston Churchill said, "Helen Keller is the greatest woman of our age ..."

May I share a real story about a girl called “little Annie”.  Many years ago there was a girl known as “little Annie”.  She became partially blind at the age of five due to bacterial eye infection.  Her family was too poor to provide her with medical treatment.  Her mother died when she was eight and her father subsequently abandoned her. 
Thus, little Annie was sent to the state poor house where she was kept in an over-crowded room and exposed to mentally ill adults.  This worsened her defiant personality.  The caregivers at the poor house regarded her as being hopelessly defiant and she received little care and attention. 
Fortunately one of the caregivers refused to regard little Annie as being hopeless.  She felt that there was hope for every child of God.  She decided to communicate hope and love to little Annie.  Gradually they became friends and little Annie became less defiant.
Little Annie longed to attend school.  A few years later when she was fourteen, the Head of the State Board of Charities, Franklin Sanborn, visited the poor house for an inspection.  Annie courageously walked up to him and requested to go to school.  That year she left the poor house and entered the Perkins Institution for the Blind in Boston.  She also underwent eye surgery which partially restored her vision.  Six years later at the age of twenty, Annie graduated from the Perkins Institution, informing her schoolmates that “duty bids her to go into active life.”
Many years later the Queen of England was pinning her country’s highest award onto Helen Keller, the famous writer who inspired millions, despite being blind and deaf since young.   The Queen asked her how did she overcome so many difficulties and accomplish so much, although she was blind and deaf. Helen Keller replied that her accomplishments could be attributed to the love and devotion of Anne Sullivan (little Annie).   If not for Anne Sullivan, the name Helen Keller would remain unknown. [5] 
This real life story reflected how the kind-hearted deeds of the caregiver and Franklin Sanford positively changed the life of little Annie. In turn little Annie helped to develop the potential of Helen Keller. Subsequently Helen Keller inspired millions through her writings. 
Thus, the far-reaching impact of every kind-hearted deed cannot be under-estimated.  Only God knows the long-term outcomes.   As emphasized by Romans 8:28,  “All things work for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purposes …”  
If we extend a kind thought, word or deed to another person each day, that will be a fruitful day in the eyes of God.  If we hold on to our faith and belief that God is divine Truth and Goodness, despite our daily trials and suffering, we are contributing our part to the moral dimension of life. In this way we are fulfilling our life purpose day by day. Thus, we have not lived in vain.  This is reflected in my favourite poem “I Shall Not Live In Vain” by Emily Dickinson:  

If I can stop one heart from breaking
I shall not live in vain.
If  I can ease one life the aching
Or cool one pain
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again
I shall not live in vain.

May we realize that we have not lived in vain, that we have not suffered in vain as long as we hold on to our faith in God and follow Him day by day.  May I quote the immortal words of Helen Keller.  Her profound faith in God has inspired and encouraged so many of us through the changing seasons of life.  

They took away what should have been my eyes, but I remembered Milton's Paradise. They took away what should have been my ears.  Beethoven came and wiped away my tears.  They took away what should have been my tongue, but I had talked with God when I was young.  He would not let them take away my soul.  Possessing that I still possess the whole.
I  am conscious of a soul  -- a sense that lifts me above the narrow, cramping circumstances of my life.
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.
For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that He has vouchsafed my knowledge of His works; deep thanks that He has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to -- a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.
If the blind put their hands in God's, they find their way more surely than those who see but do not have faith.
I believe that life is given to us so that we may grow in love, and I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the color and fragrance of a flower.                                                   

   Helen Keller

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