When I heard Pastor Mensa Otabil share her story, it occurred to me that I read about her in Joyce Meyer’s book-Never give up, I just knew I had to feature her as an inspiration.
She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. Her birthday on June 27 is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and was authorized at the federal level by presidential proclamation by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, the 100th anniversary of her birth; as a matter of fact, 12 years after death. An epitome of one’s life affecting generations long after death.
BORN: June 27, 1880 in Tuscumbia, Alabama, U.S.
DIED: June 1, 1968
EDUCATION: Perkins Institute for the Blind. In 1894, Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan moved to New York to attend the Wright-Humason School for the Deaf, and to learn from Sarah Fuller at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf. In 1896, they returned to Massachusetts, and Keller entered The Cambridge School for Young Ladies before gaining admittance, in 1900, to Radcliffe college.
EARLY LIFE: was born with the ability to see and hear. At 19 months old, she contracted an illness described by doctors as “an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain”, which might have been scarlet fever or meningitis.The illness left her both deaf and blind.
CAREER: Author, political activist, lecturer.
INSPIRATION: Keller learned to speak, and spent much of her life giving speeches and lectures. She learned to “hear” people’s speech by reading their lips with her hands—her sense of touch had become extremely subtle. She became proficient at using Braille and reading sign language with her hands as well. Shortly before World War I, with the assistance of the Zoellner Quartet she determined that by placing her fingertips on a resonant tabletop she could experience music played close by.
She was well-traveled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women’s suffrage, labor rights, socialism, antimilitarism, and other similar causes. She was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame in 1971 and was one of twelve inaugural inductees to the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame on June 8, 2015. Helen proved to the world that deaf people could all learn to communicate and that they could survive in the hearing world. She also taught that deaf people are capable of doing things that hearing people can do.
Her story is incomplete without her instructor, Anne Sullivan who evolved to being her governor and companion in their 49 years long relationship.
Helen Keller was viewed as isolated but she was in fact, very in touch with the outside world. She was able to enjoy music by feeling the beat and she was able to have a strong connection with animals through touch. She was delayed at picking up language, but that did not stop her from having a voice.
Are you still blaming God for the circumstances surrounding your birth or life? What’s your excuse for depriving your generation and those to come of your God given talents? Illness? Disability(ies)? Thou has been weighed and found inexcusable.
Are you a mentor, how well are you carrying out your roles?
Credit : Wikipedia