helen keller

21 Helen Keller Quotes to Get You Through the Day

Children are taught the story of a young girl who learned to communicate with the world despite being both deaf and blind, but they hear little of the woman that she became. The fact that Helen Keller managed to find her voice is, arguably, far less remarkable than what she chose to do with it. Yesterday was her 138th birthday, so let her remind you of everything that she was.

 


An Optimist

 

“I want to say to those who are trying to learn to speak and those who are teaching them: Be of good cheer. Do not think of to-day’s failures, but of the success that may come to-morrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere, and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles — a delight in climbing rugged paths, which you would perhaps never know if you did not sometime slip backward — if the road was always smooth and pleasant. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost. Sometime, somewhere, somehow we shall find that which we seek. We shall speak, yes, and sing, too, as God intended we should speak and sing.”

 

 

“Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another’s pain, life is not in vain.”

 

 

“I demand that the world be good, and lo, it obeys. I proclaim the world good, and facts range themselves to prove my proclamation overwhelmingly true.”

 

 


A Socialist

 

“If the capitalist class had the sense it is reputed to have, it would know that violence is the worst weapon that can be used against men who have nothing to lose and the world to gain.”

 

“Our democracy is but a name. We vote? What does that mean? It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.… You ask for votes for women. What good can votes do when ten-elevenths of the land of Great Britain belongs to 200,000 and only one-eleventh to the rest of the 40,000,000? Have your men with their millions of votes freed themselves from this injustice?”

 

“Capitalism will inevitably find itself face to face with a starving multitude of unemployed workers demanding food or destruction of the social order that has starved them and robbed them of their jobs.”

 


An Author

 

“I don’t want to live in a hand-me-down world of others’ experiences. I want to write about me, my discoveries, my fears, my feelings, about me.”

 

 

“If I write what my soul thinks it will be visible, and the words will be its body.”

 

 

“Trying to write is very much like trying to put a Chinese puzzle together. We have a pattern in mind which we wish to work out in words; but the words will not fit the spaces, or, if they do, they will not match the design.”

 


A Philosopher

 

 

“A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.”

 

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.” 

 

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road…Unless you fail to make the turn.” 

 


 

An Activist

 

“Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought. Strike against manufacturing shrapnel and gas bombs and all other tools of murder. Strike against preparedness that means death and misery to millions of human beings. Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction. Be heroes in an army of construction.”

 

“The highest result of education is tolerance. Long ago men fought and died for their faith; but it took ages to teach them the other kind of courage, — the courage to recognize the faiths of their brethren and their rights of conscience. Tolerance is the first principle of community; it is the spirit which conserves the best that all men think.”

 

“Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all — the apathy of human beings.” 

 


A Scholar

 

“True teaching cannot be learned from text-books any more than a surgeon can acquire his skill by reading about surgery.”

 

“Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness.”

 

“Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in, and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen?
I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding-line, and had no way of knowing how near the harbor was.”

 


A Philanthropist

 

“Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another’s pain, life is not in vain.”

 

“No one has a right to consume happiness without producing it.”

 

“I regard philanthropy as a tragic apology for wrong conditions under which human beings live.”

 

 

Feature Image Via Flickr