It’s also good to know that even people of great wealth or notoriety are still just people! They failed, made mistakes, got angry and still found the strength to get up and get going again! What an inspiration!
Helen Keller is one of my all time favorites. This child had issues that even now would likely best the “best of us!” Yet, once the right person entered her life and recognized how to deal with the problems head on, progress was made! Helen Keller later became an author and lecturer, as well as, a political activist despite being both deaf and blind. To overcome such obstacles and be successful in life, is amazing!
My daughter said, as a teenager, the most remarkable biography she recalled was "Lizzie," about a girl on trial for killing her parents with an ax in 1892. Lizzie was eventually acquitted and the case never solved. They say truth is stranger than fiction and people’s real lives are often so filled with the “little things” that make up the larger part of their lives that creating a plot can never be as convincing or interesting as the real events. It is also fascinating because the situation encourages us to try to figure out what makes minds operate the way they do.
While the Helen Keller story and the Lizzie story are on opposite ends of the spectrum, each had an emotional process to work through. Each was faced with decisions and situations that were turning points in their lives. Helen Keller had to decide to go down the path of education and allow herself to love and be loved. Lizzie, if you believe she murdered her parents, made the decision to cause great harm, even kill the parents she apparently found less than adequate. If, on the other hand, she wasn’t guilty of the horrible crime, she still had to deal with the charge and accusation of murder, not only from the police but her peers who lived in the town.
“The Walton’s” based on the life of Earl Hamner or even “Little House On The Prairie” based on the books and life of Laura Ingalls Wilder have the same appeal to me as reading a biography. To see into a person’s life; what they’re made of, how they face challenges, their joys and sorrows, all resonate with what’s real and in some small way with who we are as people.
If someone were to write a biography about you, what would they say? You may think you don’t have anything worthwhile in your life others would find interesting like overcoming a great obstacle such as slavery or poverty, or have a political connection, incredible wealth, fame or have a devastating medical handicap which you’ve overcome. But each of us has a story. That story is important to our children, grand children and our great grandchildren perhaps yet unborn. These are the threads that make families. These are the pieces of our lives that make us unique and the knowledge of our stories give strength and purpose to those who come after.