Earlier this week I was thinking how we weren’t allowed to complain as children when an email came in from a coaching friend Robyn Vintner.

She asked the question – “Have you been brought up to believe that it is OK to complain & grizzle?”

OMG! Robyn! My mother was the youngest of sixchildren, the only girl with five older brothers. You can imagine her pecking order. Her mother and father didn’t tolerate moaners, so she was never allowed to. Consequently she brought us up with the same beliefs. I remember I used to moan to myself that we were never allowed to moan. I think that was my teenage voice talking.

Fortunately, as I reflect on being blind and happy, I thought about the fact that we were never allowed to moan! I am of course very grateful to my mother now for having passed this habit on to me. She even says to this day, “Complaining is the easiest thing in the world to do!”

When I went blind I remember saying to myself, “no one wants to be around a grumpy blind person”, so vowed and declared never to complain about my blindness.

This week, as the world of the blind celebrates the 136 anniversary of the birth of Helen Keller, it’s so easy to turn to her for inspiration on this topic.(she wrote a whole essay on optimism) Helen was the first Deafblind person in the world to go to College and gain a degree, despite in the day, nothing being available in an accessible format, and word by word she consumed information either in braille or through her life long companion and teacher Anne Sullivan, transcribing the words from textbooks and lectures, into the palm of Helen’s hand.

Despite not being able to see or hear, Helen always looked within for inspiration where she found a loving heart and mind. This approach saw Helen become a beacon of light to those all around the world.

This quotation for me sums up her approach to Deafblindness.

“So much has been given to me I have not time to ponder over that which has been denied.”

Viva Helen Keller!

Thank you for not complaining; I think you and my mother would have got on famously!