Sunday, June 10, 2012
TURNING TRAGEDY INTO TRIUMPH
For many generations before this century the standard procedure for developing skilled craftsmen was for the father to teach the sons his trade. The skills necessary for the craft were passed from one generation to another.
Many years ago a shoe maker was teaching his nine-year-old son his craft to prepare him for life. One day while working, an awl fell from the shoe maker’s table and tragically put out the eye of his nine-year-old son. Without the medical knowledge and expertise of today, the son ended up losing not only that eye, but the other one as well.
His father put him in a special school for the sightless. At that time the blind were taught to read by using large, carved wooden blocks. They were clumsy, awkward to handle and required a considerable amount of time to learn. The shoe maker’s son, however, was not content only to learn to read himself. He knew there must be an easier, better way. Over the years, he devised a new reading system for the blind by punching dots into paper. To accomplish his objective, the shoe maker’s son used the same awl that had blinded him. His name was Louis Braille.
The old saying is still true: It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you handle what happens to you that counts. I love what President Reagan said about his first term in office: “Since I came to the White House I got two hearing aids, a colon operation, skin cancer, a prostate operation and I was shot.” He paused. “I’ve never felt better in my life.” I believe you will agree that attitude will propel you farther than bemoaning unfortunate incidents in your life. Give it a try. Take the advice of Helen Keller, who said, “If the outlook is not good, try the uplook. It’s always good.”