«Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave» (Proverbs 12:24, NLT)
AS A BABY, Helen Keller suffered from fevers that brought her permanent deafness and blindness. It was such a traumatic shock for her, that for years she had an uncontrollable rebellion. Not being able to communicate with anyone, she withdrew into herself and her poor attitude even further. It was hard to help her. Help finally came through a young specialist in the education of the blind, whom her parents sought to bring Helen out of her confinement. The young lady’s name was Anne Sullivan.
Anne had her own experience with vision problems because of a disease she had suffered, called trachoma; that led her to study at a Boston school for the blind. Thanks to several surgeries, her eyesight improved and she became an outstanding student. When she moved to Alabama to take care of Helen, the challenge was to bring her out of the complete lack of communication in which she lived. That required a tremendous effort on their part, and both were willing to make it. First, Anne would place objects in Helen’s hand, while on the other hand she would spell out with her fingers the name of the object. It was some time before Helen understood what Anne was doing, but the moment came, and from then on, everything changed for her—so much so that she learned to read and write. She also learned to talk. How? Anne would place Helen’s hand on her own throat as she spoke, so that Helen would notice the changes in the vocal chords and then repeat those same vibrations with her voice.
Helen became the first deaf-blind person to obtain a college degree. From being a girl who threw temper tantrums and dishes because she would not resign herself to her silent world, she became an author, political activist, and speaker.
The fruits that both women reaped in their lives are incredible thanks to their earnest, diligent, and tireless work. Both worked hard, and both became leaders whose influence remains until today. Real success in this life is not in expecting to inherit a fortune or to have before us an easy path, but rather the diligent work that is done with humility and dependence on the Lord. There are six days in which we are to work, and one in which rest is sacred.