Helen Keller’s story is near and dear to me. I remember reading a biography of her when I was in fourth grade, and I gained a new perspective on how people who seem to have apparent disabilities work to overcome them. Helen Keller could have given into the trajectory that people like her often accepted, but she was determined to prove them wrong and be bigger than her circumstances.
With the help of Anne Sullivan, Helen learned to communicate and read through unique means. It took a great deal of patience and perseverance from the both of them to reach this achievement. Imagine living in a world of your own and having no idea what it looks and sounds like. It had to be challenging to learn about things Helen would never have the chance to see, nor ever hear the sounds of the things we take for granted every day. But, she did. Helen created a normal for herself and thrived.
In her years of adulthood, Helen started being more than a girl who was blind, deaf, and mute. She became a maker of change. Her desire to learn proved to be an obstacle she would have to fight for and eventually would triumph. Helen Keller would go on to work for everything she ever received in life and paved the way for giving rights to those who were overlooked based on their inability to do something that the rest could do.
Helen Keller advocated for herself; therein, advocating for others. From her story, we can learn that being different is okay, but more importantly, we learn that having a disability is only a disability if we let it hold us back. She taught us how to look at beyond the physical limitations and break the barriers set forth by society. In addition to that, Anne Sullivan showed us how to meet someone where they are and grow with them. None of this was easy, but it was needed. Now, we make accommodations, and they have rights.
Sure, it was hard to navigate through a world that is dark and silent, but Helen Keller left a mark and an echo that can be seen and heard today. She found her voice that may have been inaudible to others, and when they were unwilling to listen, she persisted.
©Inquisitive Perspectives 2018