A Smile of Hope with Louis Braille

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(A Smile of Hope with The French educator, Louis Braille) today says there are people who transform their pain and problems in life to hatred, anger, and depression unfortunately, by which they depress people with it. However, there are other people who transform their pain and problems in life to happiness, hope, and dreams that make people happy. I wonder which type are you? Let’s hear this story.

Louis Braille
Louis Braille

Are you amongst those who turn their problems into hatred, and anger towards other? Or is it that when you go through tribulations, pain, or hardships you turn it into good things? Well how do I turn my problems into happiness for others? Let me tell you this story.

He was born 1809, in a small village which is 400 miles away from Paris, France. He was a little child, who had beautiful eyes and was very intelligent. However, when he was 4 years old his father worked as a tailor. However, he wasn’t any ordinary tailor, because he used big needles for the horse saddles. The boy, while he was 4 years old, sat with his father at his shop. His father was busy working, and the boy picked up a big needle and started to play with it. He got a hammer and began trying to hammer the long needle into a thick piece of leather.

However, he wasn’t successful and the needle flew out of his hands. The needle injured his eye deeply, and he kept crying. Unfortunately, he ended up with an inflammation in his eye’s main nerve which led to his left eye going blind. Following this, a year later, the inflammation came in his other eye, so he lost both of his eyes. He became completely blind.

He was in a state of depression and sadness. Will he change his depression and sadness to anger towards society? Or will he change it to a fountain of goodness in which humanity benefits out of it?

This young man entered schooling. He entered the National Institute for the Blind in Paris. He began learning to read in the Institute. The way was old-fashioned at that time, where people would touch big letters. They were huge letters made out of metal and taped to paper. The students would spend a long time to touch every single letter. It took maybe 30 minutes to find out what a word is using this methodology, which was difficult. He felt like this was not a practical way of reading.

When he turned 20 years-old, he was hired as a teacher in the institute. One day, he began thinking that he must invent a new way for reading. He felt that it would be unfair that all the blind people in the world would go through so much pain and struggle the way he did. He began creating an idea using a needle to make holes in a paper. He created several holes until he created 12 holes. He began putting them in different forms as if they were the letters of reading.

He introduced an innovative way without large letters, which relied on the 12 holes put in different forms to stand for different letters of the alphabet. He began to test his methodology. The method began succeeding, and he started using it at the institute. Next, he published it in a book. Then he translated a book using this method. His name was Louis Braille.

Who is Louis Braille? He’s the one who invented Braille, the method most common for reading amongst the blind. His idea became widespread, and it became the easiest method. To invent it he used a big needle, which was similar to the one that caused him to lose his eyesight. He took the cause of his distress as a tool for the happiness of millions of blind people around the world.

He transformed the source of his pain into the source of his success. He transformed the secret of his sadness to the secret of joy for the rest of the blind around the world. The French government acknowledged the invention, and it became the common method used. Braille said his famous words, “I cried three times in my life. I cried when I lost my eyes. I cried the day I invented the new method. And I am crying today, on the day when this method has become the common way.”

This man passed away when he was 43 years old. However, his invention exists to date. 20 million blind people around the world have great gratitude towards this man who helped them in reading and writing. There are people who turn their pain into hatred for other people and there are people who turn their pain into joy for others. A smile engraved with hope is for every individual who changes their struggle to joy for others.


Louis Braille Biography by DR. Amr Khaled

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