The transaction pleased me, because I knew that he
had given evidence of a trait of resourcefulness that would go with
him all through life. Later events proved this to be true. When
his older brother wanted something, he would lie down on the floor,
kick his feet in the air, cry for it— and get it. When the "little
deaf boy" wanted something, he would plan a way to earn the
money, then buy it for himself. He still follows that plan!
Truly, my own son has taught me that handicaps can be converted
into stepping stones on which one may climb toward some worthy goal,
unless they are accepted as obstacles, and used as alibis.
The little deaf boy went through the grades, high school, and college
without being able to hear his teachers, excepting when they shouted
loudly, at close range. He did not go to a school for the deaf.
WE WOULD NOT PERMIT HIM TO LEARN THE SIGN LANGUAGE. We were determined
that he should live a normal life, and associate with normal children,
and we stood by that decision, although it cost us many heated debates
with school officials.
While he was in high school, he tried an electrical hearing aid,
but it was of no value to him; due, we believed, to a condition
that was disclosed when the child was six, by Dr. J. Gordon Wilson,
of Chicago, when he operated on one side of the boy's head, and
discovered that there was no sign of natural hearing equipment.
During his last week in college, (eighteen years after the operation),
something happened which marked the most important turning-point
of his life. Through what seemed to be mere chance, he came into
possession of another electrical hearing device, which was sent
to him on trial. He was slow about testing it, due to his disappointment
with a similar device. Finally he picked the instrument up, and
more or less carelessly, placed it on his head, hooked up the battery,
and lo! as if by a stroke of magic, his lifelong DESIRE FOR NORMAL
HEARING BECAME A REALITY! For the first time in his life he heard
practically as well as any person with normal hearing. "God
moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform."
Overjoyed because of the Changed World which had been brought to
him through his hearing device, he rushed to the telephone, called
his mother, and heard her voice perfectly. The next day he plainly
heard the voices of his professors in class, for the first time
in his life! Previously he could hear them only when they shouted,
at short range. He heard the radio. He heard the talking pictures.
For the first time in his life, he could converse freely with other
people, without the necessity of their having to speak loudly. Truly,
he had come into possession of a Changed World.
We had refused to accept Nature's error, and, by PERSISTENT DESIRE,
we had induced Nature to correct that error, through the only practical