Volume 6 - Issue 08
AUGUST - 2008
CHAIN OF LOVE
"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 remained unknown."
"Little Annie" Sullivan, as she was called when she was young, 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 occasions, Little Annie would violently attack anyone who came near her, and most of the time she generally ignored everyone in her presence.
However, one elderly nurse believed there was hope. She made it her mission to show love to the child and started visiting Little Annie everyday. For the most part, the child did not acknowledge the nurse's presence, but that did not deter her for continuing her visits. The kindly woman left cookies for her and spoke words of love and encouragement everyday. She believed Little Annie could recover, if only she was shown love.
Eventually, doctors did notice 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 released.
Anne Sullivan grew into a young woman with a desire to help others, as she, herself was helped by the kindly nurse. It was she who saw the great potential in Helen Keller. She loved her, disciplined her, played with her, taught her a sign-alphabet, 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 the loving nurse who first believed in Little Annie and painstakingly 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.
These three great souls formed their own chain of love. But how far back does the chain of redemption extend? And how far forward will it lead? When we seek to reach out and help others, we become an integral part of a chain of love that can extend through the generations.
Therefore, on any day, it is okay if we skip our breakfast or dinner, a TV show or a friendly get together, but let us never miss an opportunity to love. For we may never know what a single and nameless act of compassion of ours could do in transforming not one but many lives.
Love is powerful. Providing a glass of drinking water to a needy; offering medical help to one who is in crisis; or simply lending a listening ear to a troubled friend – every such act maybe small but their implications are much more than we can often imagine. We can never overestimate the power of love in action. It is a fire that, once lit, burns forever.
Illustrations: Ms. Lyn Kriegler Elliott
- Heart2Heart Team
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Vol 6 Issue 08 - AUGUST 2008
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