by Helen Keller
The potency and inspiration of the less-than fortunate never ceases to amaze me. Against physical conditions that would enslave even the strongest of women, Helen Keller challenged her multiple disabilities and became an educated young women in spite of them. Blind and deaf at two, Helen Keller's story of bravery and fortitude and her remarkable relationship with her beloved teacher Ann Sullivan, is a delicate lesson in the ability of the extraordinary few to triumph over adversity.
As a young girl, Keller was powerless to express herself. Until at the age of 7, an event happened that she declares, "the most important day I remember in all my life." The event she describes is the day Anne Sullivan became her teacher. In one passage, Keller writes of the day "Teacher" led her to a stream and repeatedly spelled out the letters w-a-t-e-r on one of her hands while pouring water over the other. I am reminded in this particular section of the narrative about the great difficulties my profoundly deaf sister faced in learning not only the sign and label of an object, but the many different concepts it included as well. These precious edifications about the differences in a "mug" and "water" were only some of what would be many opportunities for Helen to develop senses and feelings that I believe she portrays helped her to begin to live.
These lessons were taught to Helen at every available opportunity. During walks in nature, in every story Ms. Sullivan lovingly spelled, every occasion to enrich Helens mind was seized. Each concept contributed to wealth of information and insight she possessed. Ms. Keller's deftly woven tales of discovering a flower bloom, her rich interpretations of experiencing new literature, or her vivid use of details to describe the natural wonders of the world that she felt so connected too, are all nothing short of brilliant. Even more astonishing is that these descriptions pour...