My words today are a sandwich really. Yesterday’s Women’s History Month Quiz answer is half the sandwich. Tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day Irish tradition is the other half. The two people I’m talking about spent many years together and have had many moving words written and performed about their lives. One of them, yesterday’s quiz answer has her words of wisdom on the walls of our school. Her quote goes something like, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” Those are Helen Keller’s words.
The teacher who made those words possible, the Miracle Worker in her life was Anne Sullivan, an Irish girl from Boston who came to the South to try and teach the young Helen Keller who had been left deaf, blind and dumb by rheumatic fever when she was a year old. The result was nothing less than a miracle. Anne, through a system of palm-signing she developed herself, taught Helen that things had names and that naming things made creating and exchanging ideas possible. Her efforts have been recorded in the incredibly moving play, “The Miracle Worker.”
I had the privilege of seeing Patty Duke play both parts in that play, first as Helen, then as Anne. If you get a chance to see either version, it is well worth while.
Helen Keller said so many inspirational things in her life, it is difficult to isolate just one, but in keeping with the theme of miracles, here are her words. “When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.”
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