Ludwig van Beethoven was one of the greatest composers of all time. Yet by the time he was writing his last few masterpieces he was completely deaf. Beethoven wasn’t born deaf. He gradually lost all his hearing from the age of 30 onwards. He first had an inkling something was wrong when he began to hear buzzing noises in his ears. He was only 26 at the time.
‘If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’ is a common English expression that warns against fixing something that is fine the way it is. Leave well enough alone. Don’t mess with it, or you’ll make it worse. Some little people and deaf people feel the same way.
If you are blind you still have the window of your ears, and if you are deaf you can listen through your eyes. Helen Keller could neither see nor hear. Yet miraculously she found her salvation through language. Keller was the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. Her autobiography, The Story of My Life, was once on the reading list of most American schools. She earned renown as an activist for women’s suffrage, socialism, and antimilitarism.