Inspiring Lives

"I shall succeed some day if I only persevere," wrote Helen Keller in her autobiography at thee age of 22. True to her words, her perseverance transformed her into one of the world's most inspiring figures.

Helen Keller, born on 27 June 1880 in Alabama, USA, suffered severe impairment of her vision and hearing after an illness in infancy. She relied on visual gestures and signs to communicate with her family. The turning point in her life came at the age of seven when she met her tutor Anne Sullivan.

The tutor started teaching Keller to communicate by spelling words with her fingers on Keller's hand. Keller's breakthrough in communication came when she realized that the motions her teacher was making on the palm of her hand, while running cool water over her other hand, symbolized the idea of 'water'. Keller later described the experience: "I knew then that 'w-a-t-e-r" meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free."
The experience, stirred up her desire to acquire knowledge.

With an indomitable will, keller made her dreams come true at the age of 24 by becoming the first person with impaired vision and hearing to earn a degree in Bachelor of Arts. Keller, then, progressed to become an accomplished writer, a lecture and a brilliant thinker. But her life's journey, from a child who had no knowledge of language to an adult who became a famous writer and a role model for millions, was not easy.

Referring to her deeply moving personal journey, Keller said: "...there were so many difficulties in the way, so many discouragements; but I kept on trying, knowing that patience and perseverance would win in the end." Her miraculous triumph over her triple impairment of speech, hearing and vision unveils the awesome power of determination and perseverance. The same power lies within each of us. It is up to use it to the fullest for achieving our dreams, and, surely, we must...

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