NEVER SAY DIE

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Principles of Life | Al-Risala December 1987

Mr. Stanley L. Jaki, a Hungarian Benedictine monk, theologian and professor of Physics, says losing his voice for ten years helped him win a $ 220,000 prize for his writings on science and faith. “A surgical mishap on my throat in 1953 gave me time to write and to think, and that’s not always the case. Many writers of best-sellers don’t think at all,” the scholar said. Mr. Jaki, who won the Templeton prize for progress in religion, holds that Christianity created the intellectual climate which allowed science to flourish. He is a stern critic of the view that science and God are unrelated (The Times of India, New Delhi May 14, 1987). Those who do nothing but lament their losses only push themselves further towards total ruination. But those who, like Mr. Jaki, forget what has been destroyed, and concentrate on what they still have, can achieve wonders, provided they have the determination to do so.

Social history is full of examples of the blind, the deaf and the dumb having successful careers, the most notable of whom was Helen Keller, the now celebrated American who was blind, deaf and mute. Born on June 27, 1880, she lost the senses of sight, hearing and smell when only 19 months old. She had the good fortune to be aided by Anna Sullivan of the Perkins Institute of the Blind, who taught her to read by the deaf and dumb alphabet, and also to write and typewrite. In 1890, she learned to speak, going on to graduate with honours at Radcliffe college, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She wrote several books including The Story of My Life, 1903, and The World I Live In, 1908. In 1932 she visited Scotland to receive honorary degrees at the universities.