Her Wonderful Experience Furnishes an Inspiring Thought for Girls' Day.
THE LESSON—That our physical eyes cannot reveal to us the precious gifts of God; only our spiritual eyes can tell us of His loving kindness.
Helen Keller's wondrous life is full of inspiration, and a study of it will provide the conscientious teacher with many helpful thoughts. The illustration is especially appropriate for Girls' Day.
"It happens very often that two people look at the same thing at the same time, and each of the two sees something entirely different from the other. Somebody has described the optimist as the man who sees the doughnut, while the pessimist sees nothing but the hole. So, also, you and I might see before us nothing but an unshapely block of marble, while the sculptor would see the angel in the stone!
"All of this proves to us that what we see doesn't depend upon our eyesight, but upon the mind which is back of the eyesight and which receives the impressions not only through the eyes but through the senses of hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling. In fact, our eyes and our ears may be tightly closed—we may be totally deaf and blind—and still we may be able to 'see' things more clearly than we might with our eyesight and our hearing.
"We have all heard about Helen Keller, the deaf and blind girl. I will draw an outline of her portrait. [Draw Fig. 124, with eye closed, complete.]
"This young woman has been deprived of her eyesight and hearing ever since she was a young child, and yet her ability to learn, to comprehend, to understand, to really 'see,' is developed to such a high degree that she is advanced far beyond most well-educated people who possess all of their natural faculties.
"Helen Keller, now grown to womanhood, has written many wonderful things. Here is one of them: 'It does not matter where we are, so long as we have light in our hearts and make our dark ways ring with the music of burdens cheerfully borne and tasks bravely filled. They say life is a closed book to me. One critic doubted that I could feel the sun, and I believe he thought others felt it for me. But if, indeed, I had so little share as that in the life of others, it would still be true that
"'The least flower with brimming cup may stand
And share its dewdrops with another near.'
"Truly, the eyes of Helen Keller are widely opened to the great truths and wonderful beauties around her—[change lines of the eye slightly, completing Fig. 125]—whereas, the eyes of many of us which are supposed to be wide open, are indeed closed to many of God's blessings. Many of us have eyes to see with, but we use them only to look with. Helen Keller has seen more and done more without eyes than thousands who have perfect eyes, but have never learned to use them.
"Helen Keller should be an inspiration to every girl here today. Learn from her life the great principles of true living.
"Let us first ask the question, 'How did she reach the high place to which she has been able to attain?' She must have had help. Yes, she did have help. It came chiefly through a dear friend, Miss Sullivan, who, through patient years, sent the light into the darkness which enveloped the poor deaf and blind girl. And listen:
"Never, during those years of patient endeavor, did Miss Sullivan allow Helen Keller to receive a wrong impression of things about her.
"Stop a moment and think what all that means! Nothing came into the life of the girl but clear, certain truth. The false, the unlovely, the hideous, the deceitful, the unreal, never came in to distort her view while she was a child, and so, when she later learned of the sadder side of life, through her extensive reading, she was well prepared to sympathize with those whose youth was not so well favored as her own. Let us be careful in helping to shape the lives of the children, never to leave with them a wrong impression which may require a lifetime to remove from their minds.
"'It must be,' says Helen Keller, 'that when the Lord took from me one faculty, He gave me another, which is in no way impossible. I think of the beautiful Italian proverb, 'When God shuts a door, he opens a window.'
"Truly, God has opened a window to let in the sunshine of His love and care, and this blind girl is one of His brightest children.
"What an example to the world is Helen Keller! What an example to every girl who has heard of her great success. Up with a monument to her memory! Build it high and strong! She has shown the world how difficulties can be overcome by determination and perseverance, and to what rugged, lofty heights one may attain, even though he carry the heaviest of burdens!"
Next: The Story Of A Kite
Previous: Our Hands