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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Working Miracles


Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Helen Keller

Most of us were introduced to Helen Keller by the film, “The Miracle Worker” (1962), in which Patty Duke played a memorable Keller, and Anne Bancroft, her teacher, Anne Sullivan. Fewer of us realize that Helen Keller, having become deaf and blind at 19 months of age due to scarlet fever, went on to graduate with honors from Radcliffe in 1904, wrote a book, The Story of My Life, while still in college, and followed that a dozen more. She penned numerous articles and campaigned tirelessly for reform for people with disabilities. She was active in the Suffrage movement, was a pacifist, as well as a socialist, which got her investigated by the FBI. She helped to start a foundation that funds programs for the deaf and blind all over the world. At a time when women were expected to be seen and not heard, especially a Southern woman from Tuscumbia, Alabama, Helen Keller was a force of nature that could not be stopped. But, she couldn't have done any of it alone. It took a team then, and it still does today.

There's an exponential component to working as a team—more gets done, faster, with fewer mistakes. This is especially true when each member of the team brings different skills to the whole, and has the freedom and encouragement to be creative in applying them. Some teams need leadership, and some work better as a company of peers. Regardless, working together toward a common goal is the very best way to get things done. When we pull apart and refuse to cooperate, negotiate and reach across, we injure that very creative, innovative process; either nothing at all gets done, or whatever is done is inferior to what it might have been.

Helen Keller was a shining example of what can be accomplished when one extraordinary person is backed up by a team. Even a woman who was deaf and blind could work miracles. How much more could we do if we all pulled together? Are you part of a team?

                                                         In the Spirit,

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