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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Dropout (05/12/11)

TITLE: Broken Dreams and Broken Hands
By Shanta Richard


Broken dreams create nightmares that lead to despair and depression. However this is not always true. Broken dreams are not the end. One person’s broken dreams could find its fulfillment in the life of someone he loves. The sacrifices he makes to achieve this, lifts him up into the realm of the brave heroes who shape the destiny of mankind. The story of the brother of Albrecht Durer Jr. is one of them.

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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Member Comments
Member Date
diana kay05/21/11
what an interesting an d informative on theme story and bang on theme. Title engaging and relevant too. you have a real skill at drawing a story together using the rich threads of spiritual truth....
no suggestions for improvement... i wish i had your skills
Beth LaBuff 05/21/11
Wow, what a story of self-sacrifice and inspiration. Thank you for writing it.
Kathy Stevens05/23/11
What a beautiful selfless story of one brother's love for another. I loved it.
Mildred Sheldon05/24/11
There is nothing like a true story such as this to show the true meaning of dropout. thank you.
diana kay05/26/11
gosh shanta you are going up again now to the next level..... just passing through level two :-) you have a really well deserved first place.
Charla Diehl 05/27/11
Very interesting bit of art history--I have a praying hands plaque right next to my computer. It will mean more to me now that I know the love those working hands gave for a brother. Great piece.