Friday, May 3, 2013

The Pessimist ... Blind & Deaf!

St. Thomas, USVI

As I read the above quote I knew I liked it, and then I noticed who said it ... Helen Keller!  I'd assume that everyone knows who Helen Keller is, but I also forget my age so ... Helen Keller was born in 1880 and just two years later was left blind, deaf and mute due to an illness.  Imagine it ... you can't see and you can't hear so how are you going to learn how to speak or communicate with people?!  This dark and quiet life was starting to get to Helen Keller, and she became rebellious and hard to handle.  A pessimist would say that this little girl had no future.  Most folks thought she needed to be institutionalized.  However, Helen Keller was lucky to have optimist parents who were determined to find someone to help their daughter.  Their persistence lead them to Anne Sullivan, who was committed to teaching Helen Keller sign language through touch.  Ms. Sullivan was finally able to break through with the tormented child at an outdoor water faucet, where she taught her the sign for water.

Helen Keller not only learned to communicate, but she also graduated from college, performed in local theater, wrote several books, and became a world-famous speaker ... advocating her support for people with disabilities, women's rights, and birth control.  Even with all of her obstacles and challenges, she kept a positive attitude, lived a full life and made a difference.

If you've never seen the old movie, "The Miracle Worker", you should check it out.  Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan was the "miracle worker" and it's about her struggles and accomplishments with Helen Keller as a child.  I remember seeing this movie when I was a child and it has stayed with me all these years.  Even as a kid I was amazed at the little girl's incredible challenges and her teacher's undying commitment.

As Helen Keller said ... the pessimists never discovered the secrets of the stars or sailed an uncharted land.  If you're cruising or plan on cruising like us, you've endured your share of pessimists.  They tell you that you don't have enough experience, that you'll encounter pirates, that you'll get bored or go crazy living on a sailboat.  The pessimists are the blind and the deaf!  They spend so much time on negative thoughts and what "can't" be done, that they fail to see the potential in life.  We'll choose the optimistic path ... and like Helen Keller, we'll open our eyes!

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!


Emily said...

As a young girl, I was fascinated by Helen Keller and read all the biographies of her I could get my hands on, some many times over. She was so inspirational to me even then, and it's wonderful to see someone discover her at a somewhat (ahem!) later age as well. She is an inspiration no matter what your age and proves that if you have the desire, you can overcome just about anything. Great post!

Sandee said...

She was right too. Yes she was. I love her too and what she did and stood for.

Have a terrific weekend. :)

Laura and Hans said...

We've put up with our share of pessimists too. And thanks to today's media I get sick and tired of the pirate warnings even after I assure everyone that we most likely won't venture far from the US. Others are horrified about our financial situation, but c'mon, we live on a small boat instead of a McMansion, and let me tell you it's a lot cheaper! People are afraid of 'different' and I, for one, am not. All the knowledge available to cruisers these days make things almost too easy and certainly not to be feared. It's just a matter of making it happen.

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