Ms. Keller’s story is the story of all of us, really. We all are born with certain capabilities, but we are all also born with limitations. Moreover, throughout our life, we encounter so many obstacles that must be overcome. Therefore, the overall fruition of our possibilities, despite the magnitude of the obstacles we face, is governed primarily by our own willpower, confidence, courage, or willingness to suffer or work hard. The sky is the limit as the old saying goes. God made us so amazingly that there is no telling how far any given human life can go. Our country was built on this idea that anyone can aspire to greatness, so even if we never reach the mark we set for ourselves, our constitutional freedoms and our strong human spirit ensure that we go so much further than we might have imagined. This spirit, along with our aspirations and dreams, drives us to conquer the unconquerable. Even those of us with seemingly disastrous conditions can rise to greatness as so many stories throughout history have shown. The music of great men like Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles who were both blind remind us, along with Ms. Keller’s story, of the great potential within every person, even when seemingly indispensable faculties or bodily capabilities are taken from us. Modern history has many more such stories of human triumph by those that God blessed with differences or what we assumed would be insurmountable limitations. You may even know of families that are so amazing with handicapping conditions of one or more members, yet they lead successful, triumphant lives.
Every human being that was great in life or history always had the same start as you or I. Certainly there are differing circumstances in life due to wealth, culture, technology, personality, etc. All of us, however, start off as a blank slate, full of various talents and tremendous possibility to impact the world. Moreover, there is something within the human spirit that God has placed there that has the capability to overcome seemingly all obstacles. I believe, also, that God has inspired certain leaders at key points in human history lessons for the rest of us about prejudice, pride, and capabilities if we apply ourselves a little better or work a little harder. I believe God even inspires the great improvements of history, placing key ideas within people so that He can bless all of humanity with certain capabilities, advancements, or comforts. I align myself with Tolstoy in being suspicious of the narrative that great men drive history. So even though we usually try to take credit for everything, I believe that we owe much more credit to God than we think. Unfortunately, it is human nature to want to believe that we did it all, and this leads to the one fatal flaw in humanity, hubris or excessive human pride. Like the fabled Achilles heel, this one fatal flaw leads to our own destruction so often. Certainly, you cannot discount the impact of human action, either good or bad, because God has placed within us amazing capabilities, having made us “a little lower than the angels” (Psalm 8:5, Heb. 2:7). Yet, we must remember that all of creation was stained with the spiritual effects of the simple act of sin by one man and one woman. This, in itself, should hobble us without outside intervention. Moreover, ever since that act, men and women have faced numerous disasters that might have wiped out humanity either of our own making or from the sin-effects on the fallen world around us. I believe that the sin effect is the main reason for natural disasters throughout human history. With all this stacked against us, we can never forget the debts that we owe God, for our own individual lives, for the second birth available to us through Jesus, but also for the daily and constant intervention He makes to keep us from being consumed by the effects of all the bad in us and around us.