Few minutes of inspiration
“Our lives begin to end the minute we become silent about things that matter.”
Martin Luther King
I would like to begin my article with the words of a great man – Dr Martin Luther King Jr. The person who has always inspired me in my life at one stage or the other. People cease to exist but what they do in a lifetime and the words they speak , last for ever in the ether’s of time.
So… What have we done with this one lifetime we have had? By asking what have we done? I do not mean – Have you changed the world? Have you been a prophet? Or have you been a revolutionary. I mean have you made a positive change to at least one persons life in your entire lifetime … even if it is to your very self? For every drop is a major contributor to the ocean which shall one day rain upon the parched earth from the clouds and make her breathe life in her womb. My aim is to awaken you to your true power, to enable and encourage my young friends to realize that we CAN emerge from whatever struggles and tragedies life has put us through as winners, and by winners I do not only mean professionally but as individuals who will live their life in abundance in every possible sphere.I hope to uplift, and to inspire more powerful ways to think and be by bringing simple stories and excerpts of people who have inspired me always .
When I first read about Helen Keller as a young teenager I could not read without goose bumps and shedding tears. Tears because I was immensely moved, motivated and ashamed. Yes you read right… I was ashamed. I was ashamed of my self and all my extremely petty complaints in life. Her life story moved me deep inside at a level I could not understand at the age of 14. However it was enough to make a shift in my life towards appreciating all the wonderful things I had in my life despite the illness which was slowly gnawing at the roots of all the enjoyable years of my teenage. An illness which made me spend every month 8-10 days being admitted in hospital until the age of 18.
Any way, my sad whining’s apart, coming back to Ms. Helen Kellar. How could a woman born in the late 18th century almost a hundred years or more before my time could have such a profound impression on the life of a young girl in India? What power did she have within her to keep reaching out to people years into time. What she could do with her life at that time in the past despite her tragic physical challenges is truly remarkable and fascinating. At age two, she contracted an illness that left her blind, deaf, unable to speak, and was considered backwards of intelligence. She lived in a dark and hopeless world of her own, until age 7, when she was placed in the care of her teacher, Anne Sullivan. Through being taught letters spelt out in her hand, she came to realize the correlation between those words and their meaning. What I learnt from this part of Helen’s life is if you truly want something it comes to you no matter what . In Helen’s case it came in form of her teacher Anne Sullivan.
I had read somewhere ‘When the student is ready the guru appears!’ Miss Keller was always to call “The most important day I can remember in my life,” Anne Mansfield Sullivan came to Tuscumbia to be her teacher. Anne Sullivan, a 20-year-old graduate of the Perkins School for the Blind, who had regained useful sight through a series of operations, had come to the Kellers through the sympathetic interest of Alexander Graham Bell. I can confidently say from my personal experiences in life that no matter what you are never alone. Even if you feel you have no one and that everything is pointless, well you are sadly mistaken for within you is a power to summon to yourself help, guidance and love – as they say just “ask and thou shalt receive!” The universe will always send you what you need as long as you really know deep inside that what is it that you really want. Whether it is in form of a teacher or guidance or friend or just signs, it “will” come to you.
How Miss Sullivan turned the near savage child into a responsible human being and succeeded in awakening her marvelous mind is familiar to millions, most notably through William Gibson’s play and film, The Miracle Worker, Miss Keller’s autobiography of her early years, The Story of My Life, and Joseph Lash’s Helen and Teacher. Imagine doing somthing so powerful that it continues to change, motivate and transform peoples lives through centuries. Work done through the power of love and through soul motivation always outlives our earthly lives. Helen with the help of Anne Sulllivan her teacher and guide, using her dogged persistence, she went on to bring forth her intellectual and emotional abilities, being an avid learner, and despite the social obstacles of her time, became the first deaf/blind person to graduate from college.
As an adult, she travelled the world, campaigned for civil rights, world peace, human dignity and women’s rights, and authored many books and essays. She became a prominent figure in her lifetime, whose accomplishments attracted awe, respect, admiration and inspiration. Born in 1880 ,Helen Keller died on June 1, 1968, at Arcan Ridge, a few weeks short of her 88th birthday. Her ashes were placed next to her beloved companions, Anne Sullivan Macy and Polly Thomson, in the St. Joseph’s Chapel of Washington Cathedral.
If in that time and that era a woman could over come all hurdles in her life and if a woman (Anne sullivan) could be the force who despite all challenges enabled this child to become timeless well so can we. We have so many things to be thankful for. So many things that we take for granted like eyesight or hearing or medicine or electricity n many other wonders of our modern times. Helen Kellar said in her famous words, “No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars,or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit”. She was right, for we can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough.
So with this tribute to my dearest Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan I would like to sign off by saying that look within you. You can be your own Helen or you can be Anne Sullivan. In both ways you can make a difference in your life and have a positive influence upon the life of others for eons to come . You can leave your stamp on time or you can choose to diminish with time,well… my friends, the choice is yours. Be the change you want to see. In his eulogy, Senator Lister Hill of Alabama expressed the feelings of the whole world when he said of Helen Keller, “She will live on, one of the few, the immortal names not born to die. Her spirit will endure as long as man can read and stories can be told of the woman who showed the world there are no boundaries to courage and faith.”
Even if you are inspired just a bit ..well – my work is done!