Chapter Twenty-Five

THE GREATEST AMERICAN
[ a song, easy-listening ]


                                 "Alone we can do so little
                                Together we can do so much"
                                You cause the deaf to hear
                                And set free the lame to touch
                                Our hearts with life's emotion
                                So that we, though blind might see
                                Through the mirror of your star
                                The love of the Creator of eternity

                                You fought the mighty battle
                                Among the simple and the weak
                                You healed our wounds and scars
                                And caused the dumb to speak
                                Of hope and love's pure treasure
                                So patient and so kind
                                We know now who is deaf
                                And who is truly blind

                                We thank you Helen Keller
                                For the life you freely shared
                                In the meekness of your soul
                                With a heart that truly cared
                                We find courage and inspiration
                                From the cross you bravely bore
                                And when we reach our destiny
                                We'll thank you forever more

                                "Alone we can do so little
                                Together we can do so much"
                                You cause the deaf to hear
                                And set free the lame to touch
                                Our soul with love's pure treasure
                                So that we, though blind might see
                                Through the mirror of your star
                                The love of the Creator of eternity

                                You showed us love's pure treasure
                                So patient and so kind
                                We know now who is deaf
                                And who is truly blind
                                Yes, we know now who is deaf
                                And who is truly blind

                                    
"Alone we can do so little,
                                     Together we can do so much." *
                                                    --Helen Keller


Helen Keller National Center      Helen Keller Worldwide


DEDICATED TO:  Ann Sullivan Macy who, though possessing poor eyesight herself, devoted her life to the care of Helen Keller.  Behind the few truly great heroes of humanity stand the many unsung heroes in their own right.  Also dedicated to American actress Marlee Matlin, who no rational being could possibly conclude is a child of a lesser God.  Alone we can truly do so little, for no man or woman is an island and truly, only a fool would think to imagine otherwise.

*FootNote:  Many 21st Century Americans are entirely unaware of the avowed, unabashed and unapologetic radical social revolutionary that Helen Keller very much in reality, was:  "Our democracy is but a name.  We vote?  What does that mean?  It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats.  We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee..." "...at a most critical period in the struggle of the proletariat... What?  Are we to put difference of party tactics before the desperate needs of the workers?" "Oh, ridiculous Brooklyn Eagle [a New York newspaper]... Socially blind and deaf, it defends an intolerable [American capitalist] system, a system that is the cause of much of the physical blindness and deafness which we are trying to prevent... I hate the system which it represents... If I ever contribute to the Socialist movement the book that I sometimes dream of, I know what I shall name it:  Industrial Blindness and Social Deafness."  (Quotations attributed to Helen Keller from A People's History Of The United States by Howard Zinn.)
        Due to the obvert nature of Helen Keller's physical challenges, often overlooked is her immense contribution to the cause of social justice and Human and Civil Rights.  Helen Keller was quite radical, even by today's standards, in her consistent push for political and social equality and reform.  Due in part also to our ever-recalcitrant American 'education' of facts without direction, her immense efforts for social justice and equality remain lost on the consciousness of the majority of modern-day Americans.  She bravely wanted to be remembered for her positive contributions toward justice and the betterment of humanity, rather than for her more obvious courage in the face of devastating physical circumstances.
        Perhaps one of her greatest contributions to humanity is the simple quotation emphasized above, similar to wisdom found in Old Testament Proverbs, which among other important observations, warns against the fallacy of remaining alone rather than interacting within the common group of peer pressure experience.  When we isolate ourselves too much we become victims of our own blind prejudices.  Both men and women truly need association within a common group of like-minded individuals to achieve lasting and positive political and social change, in helping others and in the necessary education and refreshment of our own souls.  This is the true theory of "church" as practiced with extreme communism (sharing of all material wealth in common) in the New Testament, the word "church" itself apparently deriving from a political term meaning a group of like-minded common people united together toward a shared political and social cause; similar in goal, to the many unionization and socialist movements prevalent throughout 19th and early 20th Century America and very, very far from the modern twisted notion of religion's 'church'.
        Helen Keller is reported to have said when asked, that among three choices, she would rather hear than either see or speak, because much of our emotional conception of love derives from what we hear from fellow human beings, both as a child and to a lesser degree, as we mature.  Human beings truly need each other and in particular, we need to choose close friends wisely, being friendly toward all while being candid and open among only a select few. According to Psalm 111:10, the fear of our Creator is the beginning of wisdom.  Perhaps the second step towards achieving wisdom is to perceive the importance of ongoing human interaction and companionship and the necessity of interdependence among the larger common group in order to realize a significant positive and lasting contribution.  Most assuredly Jesus taught that if we do not move toward helping our neighbor, we do not fear God and are but foolish individuals constructing inward homes on a frivolous quicksand of fear and irrelevance. Alone, we truly can accomplish but very little, while without the help of our Creator, we have no hope of achieving anything worthwhile at all (which many the would-be activist has eventually figured out).


           


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Copyright © August 20th, 2003 by Richard Aberdeen.

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