Helen Keller: One of the Greatest Stories of Resiliency

Helen Keller: One of the Greatest Stories of Resiliency

You probably learned about the story of Helen Keller in grade school. She was a person who went deaf and blind at an early age in life. At the time, doctors did not know the reason for her loss. The cause of that hearing and sight loss is now thought to be due to her contracting Meningitis. It freaked her out at first. She withdrew and became violent as a child. Her parents didn’t know how to help and had lost all hope. That was until they found someone who could get through to Helen.

It’s not hard to imagine why someone placed in Helen’s situation would withdraw and give up. We take our senses for granted, but that’s something Helen couldn’t do. Losing one of your senses is bad enough. Helen lost two. People have persevered when blind, and others have done so being deaf. But, it wasn’t common for someone to carry on life with no access to either of those senses.

The Keller’s needed to find a way to help Helen, and they sought the advice of several doctors. They eventually were led to the Perkins Institute for the Blind, where Helen and her family met Anne Sullivan. Ms. Sullivan became her governess and taught her how to communicate. It was a rough transition, but Sullivan was able to get through to Helen. They remained friends even during Helen’s adult years.

Helen went to school at Radcliffe College with the guidance of Sullivan. Helen eventually learned how to speak. She went on the lecture circuit and became a prominent author and activist, helping others with disabilities. She served as an inspiration and a beacon of hope for people who believed they didn’t have any choices.

You would be hard-pressed to find stories that are more inspiring than Helen’s story. There is no doubt she inspires people to this day even though she passed away almost 50 years ago. She was resilient where others would have given up.

Helen’s story is one of motivation as well. The next time you come across an obstacle that you believe is too tough to handle, try to imagine how Helen had to deal with her challenges. Understanding her story may help you realize that your situation is not so dire, after all. She rose from adversity and went on to become a famous author. If that isn’t resilience, nothing is.

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