There is a generation that views the loss of Wi-Fi as a calamity, a cold latte worthy of scorn, and a five-day work week as a curious relic from a distant past. Sad but true, they have no sense of real life challenges that have been confronted and mastered by those whose spirit, ethics, and indomitable strength remain unimaginable to the rest of us.
One of the most courageous Americans was Helen Keller. Blind and deaf since infancy due to scarlet fever, she angrily lived in a world of total silence and darkness until her parents received a visiting angel, Anne Sullivan. Visually impaired herself, she was able to break through to Helen by teaching her sign language that eventually revealed Helen's intellect, curiosity, and humanity.
This story was the subject of a 1962 film, the Oscar award-winning "The Miracle Worker." A young Patty Duke played Helen Keller and Anne Bancroft her teacher, mentor, and guide to a world beyond darkness and silence. Their performances captured the terror of Helen Keller's disabilities and the breakthrough that reminded the world that everyone has worth, no matter the disability.
Historians of popular culture note, "The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Director for Arthur Penn, and won two awards, Best Actress for Anne Bancroft and Best Supporting Actress for Patty Duke, the latter of whom, at age 16, became the youngest competitive Oscar winner at the time."
Not surprising, it is also among the films listed as "America's most inspiring movies."
I strongly recommend you find it on your local cable channel that features classic movies. You will discover it to be a riveting one hour and 43 minutes that reveals how two people created a miracle, putting our own personal challenges in powerful perspective.
Lawrence Kadish serves on the Board of Governors of Gatestone Institute.