Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Dropout (05/12/11)
TITLE: Broken Dreams and Broken Hands
By Shanta Richard
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Albrecht Durer Sr. was a goldsmith in Europe. He had eighteen children. He worked hard to support this large family. His two older sons shared a dream of becoming famous painters. Knowing that their father could never afford to send them to Art College they decided to help themselves. One of them would drop out of school and start working in the mines and support the other in college. When that one graduated he would start working and he would then send the other to college. They tossed a coin and Albrecht won and went to college in Nuremberg and his brother dropped out of school and went to work. He worked hard in the mines for four years while his brother went to college
Albrecht excelled in his studies. His etchings, carvings, oils and water- colors won praise and recognition. He was able to sell his work and save enough money for his brother to go to college. His father was very proud of him and held a great reception when he returned home. At the reception Albrecht thanked everyone for their support and told his brother that now he could go to college and realize his dream.
“I am sorry, Albrecht,” his brother replied as tears streamed down his face.
“Look at my hands,” he said and he lifted them up for all to see. “My fingers have been smashed many times as I worked in the mines. I now have arthritis. I cannot hold a painter’s brush. I cannot paint. But I thank God that you can paint. In you, my dreams are fulfilled.”Now it was Albrecht’s turn to weep.
In time Albrecht became a very famous painter. But it is only one of his paintings that the world remembers and almost every home has a replica of it. It is his painting of the hands of his brother clasped together and pointing above – “The Praying Hands.”
Not all drop-outs are failures. It was the wonderful dream of the future that drove the brother to face pain and disappointment with courage and hope. He never painted a picture. But he lifted his brother to fame and fortune. He saw the fulfillment of his broken dreams in his brother’s success. Four centuries later, today it is the picture of his broken hands that is still remembered. His sacrifice was the stepping stone for Albrecht’s success. He was a high school drop- out. But he was a hero in his brother’s eye
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