A Life That Makes A Difference
by Steve Goodier
“How do you account for your remarkable accomplishment in life?” Queen
Victoria of England asked Helen Keller. “How do you explain the fact
that even though you were both blind and deaf, you were able to
accomplish so much?”
Ms. Keller’s answer is a tribute to her dedicated teacher. “If it had
not been for Anne Sullivan, the name of Helen Keller would have
Speaker Zig Ziglar tells about “Little Annie” Sullivan, as she was
called when she was young. Little Annie was no stranger to hardship.
She was almost sightless herself (due to a childhood fever) and was,
at one time, diagnosed as hopelessly “insane” by her caregivers. She
was locked in the basement of a mental institution outside of Boston.
On occasion, Little Annie would violently attack anyone who came near.
Most of the time she generally ignored everyone in her presence
An elderly nurse believed there was hope, however, and she made it her
mission to show love to the child. Every day she visited Little Annie.
For the most part, the child did not acknowledge the nurse’s presence,
but she still continued to visit. The kindly woman left cookies for
her and spoke words of love and encouragement. She believed Little
Annie could recover, if only she were shown love.
Eventually, doctors noticed a change in the girl. Where they once
witnessed anger and hostility, they now noted an emerging gentleness
and love. They moved her upstairs where she continued to improve. Then
the day finally came when this seemingly “hopeless” child was
Anne Sullivan grew into a young woman with a desire to help others as
she, herself, was helped by the loving nurse. It was she who saw the
great potential in Helen Keller. She loved her, disciplined her,
played with her, pushed her, and worked with her until the flickering
candle that was her life became a beacon of light to the world. Anne
Sullivan worked wonders in Helen’s life, but it was a loving nurse who
first believed in Little Annie and lovingly transformed an
uncommunicative child into a compassionate teacher.
“If it had not been for Anne Sullivan, the name of Helen Keller would
have remained unknown.” But if it had not been for a kind and
dedicated nurse, the name of Anne Sullivan would have remained
unknown. And so it goes. Just how far back does the chain of
redemption extend? And how for forward will it lead?
Those you have sought to reach, whether they be in your family or
elsewhere, are part of a chain of love that can extend through the
generations. Your influence on their lives, whether or not you see
results, is immeasurable. Your legacy of dedicated kindness and caring
can transform lost and hopeless lives for years to come.