How inspiring it has been to make a pilgrimage to Helen Keller’s brithplace, to sit and write on the very same bench where she sat and wrote, and to put my hand under the very same fountain/water pump where she put her hand and said her first word W.A.T.E.R.
The docent, Shirley Hale Harrell, told me a very cool story. The day Helen said her first word was a result of a distant memory. She lost her sight and hearing when she was 19 months old, (physicians today speculate it was meningitis). When she was a toddler, she called water “wa wa.”
When her teacher Annie Sullivan repeatedly tapped the letters W.A.T.E.R. in Helen’s hand that day, she finally connected the dots and realized that the cool substance flowing over her hand was “wa-wa.” She was so excited, she ran around the yard learning the names of thrity more things that day (and 600 more in the next six weeks.)
Accessing words opened up and expanded Helen’s world. Her breakthrough – and newfound ability to communicate and connect – led to her learning to speak and write and eventually become a world-renowned spokesperson and advocate for those with disabilities.
I am here doing the final proof of my manuscript SOMEDAY is Not a Day in the Week – based on the adventures and insights from my Year by the Water. I’ll be turning it into my publisher, St. Martin’s Press tomorrow.
In it, I share stories and and surprising epiphanies from my travels. My hope is they resonate with people and inspire them to love their life and focus on what will matter in the long run … now, not someday.
As I tourned Helen Keller’s museum and read the many quotes which graced its walls, I was reminded of the enduring power of words to help us make sublime sense of the world.
Please look at these eternally wise insights from Helen Kellen, some written more than a hundred years ago. Take a moment to appreciate and imprint them. Marvel at the power of language to transmit ideas, images and ideals that infuence us – for good.
You might want to print a favorite and post it so you’ll see it every day to keep that concept in-sight,in mind so it acts as a moral compass.
Words matter. They have the ability to lift our spirits and center us in our resolve to be a better person. Read ’em and reap.
“No one has a right to consume happiness without producing it.”
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”
“When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don’t see the one that has opened for us.”
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”
“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.”
“Life is either a great adventure or nothing.”
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”
Here’s to having sight and vision, to really SEEING the world as the blessing it is so we’re more grateful for the gift of each and every day.
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Sam Horn, CEO of Intrigue Agency & TEDx speaker, is on a mission to help people create a life-work that adds value for all involved. Her books have been featured on NPR and in Fast Company, Forbes, New York Times and presented to Nationwide, Boeing, Capital One, NASA. Want Sam to share her inspiring message with your group? Contact Cheri@IntrigueAgency.com