“The infinite wonders of the universe are revealed to us in exact measure as we are capable of receiving them. The keenness of our vision depends not on how much we can see, but on how much we feel.”
― Helen Keller, The World I live in
Today is the anniversary of the birth of Helen Keller, in Alabama in the United States.
Young Helen Keller, blind, deaf, and mute since infancy, was in danger of being sent to an institution. Her inability to communicate left her frustrated and violent towards those around her. In desperation, her parents sought help from the Perkins Institute, which sends them Annie Sullivan to tutor their daughter.
Through both persistence and love combined with sheer stubbornness, Annie gradually broke down the walls of disability and taught Helen to communicate. Helen was six when Annie first made her breakthrough, her perseverance paid off when Helen finally learned that things have names (I won’t post the film spoiler in case you want to see it)
Helen’s story shows the strength and power of the human will and its ability to triumph over the most devastating disabilities. Helen Keller went on to excel in all aspects of her life. She graduated from college with honours and spent the rest of her life writing, lecturing and on an ongoing basis inspiring people worldwide.
Her story is told in the film ‘The Miracle Worker’ – a film worth watching if you ever get the chance. I don’t know what it is about black and white films but to me they always seem more real than those you see today – maybe it’s the grittiness of them, the fact that they aren’t as polished and ‘perfect’ as today’s examples.
Watching the film did leave me with a question though – who ultimately was the miracle worker ? Helen or Annie ? Maybe it was both ?