The fact that Beethoven was deaf is used as a motivator by parents, teachers, and speakers. The truth of the matter is a little more complicated and heart breaking. Ludwig wasn't born deaf, he gradually lost his hearing. In a letter to his friend Dr. Franz Gerhard Wegeler, Beethoven said, "... For two years I have avoided almost all social gatherings because it is impossible for me to say to people "I am deaf". If I belonged to any other profession it would be easier, but in my profession it is a frightful state.." He goes on in his letter to prove that even someone who is losing a faculty most dear to him can make light of the situation, "... It is curious that in conversation there are people who do not notice my condition at all; since I have generally been absent-minded, they account for it in that way..."