Helen Keller (1880-1968), was a famous American scholar, author and a strong advocate forwomen’s rights, the rights of minorities and of people with disabilities. She was a normal baby at birth, but at the age of nineteen months contracted a serious infectious disease (possibly scarlet fever) which left her blind and deaf. With the help of Anne Sullivan, her dedicated teacher, she learned to read and write and use a form of speech. Because she lacked two key senses - sight and hearing, she relied heavily on her sense of smell and her sense of taste. ‘Smell, she wrote, ‘is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived’. Many of us have had the experience of being in a foreign country and of coming across a stand of eucalyptus trees. We are instantly transported back to Australia with those familiar scents. And when travelling to a beach for a holiday, we know, through our sense of smell, that we are getting close to the ocean well before our eyes reveal to us the blue sea and the rolling waves. We often underestimate the power of our nose and it’s close link to the sense of taste and also may not realise just how closely our sense of smell is linked to our memories and emotions. Helen Keller called smell the ‘fallen angel’ of the senses because we rely so much on sight and hearing. You can find out more about Hellen Keller here Helen Keller - Wikipedia
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