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The tragedies of ones life can be devastating. But those same tragedies can lead to greater developments, as was true in the following story.


Braille


It was 1818 in France, and Louis, a boy of 9, was sitting in his father’s workshop. The father was a harness-maker and the boy loved to watch his father work the leather.

“Someday Father,” said Louis, “I want to be a harness-maker, just like you.”

“Why not start now?” said the father. He took a piece of leather and drew a design on it. “Now, my son,” he said, “take the hole-puncher and a hammer and follow this design, but be careful that you don’t hit your hand.”

Excited, the boy began to work, but when he hit the hole-puncher, it flew out of his hand and pierced his eye! He lost the sight of that eye immediately. Later, sight in the other eye failed. Louis was now totally blind.

A few years later, Louis was sitting in the family garden when a friend handed him a pinecone. As he ran his sensitive fingers over the cone, an idea came to him. He became enthusiastic and began to create an alphabet of raised dots on paper so that the blind could feel and interpret what was written. Thus, Louis Braille opened up a whole new world for the blind—all because of an accident!


Bits and Pieces, June, 1990, pp. 23-4

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