Helen Keller was an inspiring figure in American literature and politics. She was the first deaf-blind person ever to be awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree. She was born on June 27, 1880, and 19 months after birth was down with an unknown illness that rendered her deaf and blind. When she was around six years old, she met her instructor Anne Sullivan, who too was a blind twenty-year-old woman. She became her governess and accompanied her for the next fifty years.
Keller's autobiography, The Story of My Life was made into a film and a play called, The Miracle Worker. She wrote 12 published books and many articles and was a member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World. She worked for women's right to vote, Worker's rights, socialism and antimilitarism. Her birthday is celebrated as Helen Keller's day in Pennsylvania.
She died in 1968 in her sleep. Before her death, she was awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom and elected to the National Women's Hall of Fame.
Below are a few of best and top Helen Keller quotes and thoughts that not only gave her strength through hard times but also inspire us even today.
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
One will never accept to lie low and settle for less when they have big dreams. They will never be satisfied with an ordinary life when they have imagined greatness for themselves.
Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
True happiness is not about partaking in an activity that you enjoy or get entertained by. It is about working for a greater cause that can lead to the betterment of other people. When you are working for an honest altruistic purpose, you feel good about yourself and gives you deeper happiness and fulfilment.
Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
Character is only fully developed after the person goes through tough times. Only when he sees failure and misfortune, has to struggle with illness or poverty or emotional breakdown, does he understand his true potential and weakness. He realises how strong he can be. It toughens him and helps him realise his priorities. His goals become clearer, which helps him to achieve them.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.
Life should either be lived adventurously, grabbing the opportunities even if they come with risk. Don't get scared of the failures and unfavourable outcomes as life is too short not to go for what you want. You can either decide to live with courage, playing the odds for things you dream of, or you will have to live through ordinary, uneventful life.
Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.
Self-pity can make lead to detrimental effects. It can make you feel stuck in difficult situations. When you feel sorry for yourself, you feel like you are being mistreated by the world, like fate is not being fair to you. You pity yourself when you feel like the problems striking you are beyond your ability to overcome them. And this stops you from fighting it. When you can't fight your own battles, you become incompetent to do the same for others.
Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.
The practice of tolerating is one of the greatest value. You need to learn to be tolerant as all of us live in a diverse society. We often encounter people with whom we don't see eye-to-eye. We will meet people or even be in a relationship with ones who will have opinions and beliefs that we vehemently disagree with. But that doesn't mean that they are bad people and shouldn't be present in your company. Tolerance is important to maintain a peaceful environment in the world. Sometimes, when you can tolerate such people or situations and get past them, you can even find good aspects that you could never have imagined. She compares the tolerance to maintaining balance on a bicycle. Just as we have to constantly prevent from falling to either side, when riding a bicycle, tolerance means trying not to let down your beliefs and values without putting down others too. It means striking that perfect balance.
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.
Whenever we fail, a new opportunity always opens up. But we get too emotionally distraught at the failure and spend our time mourning the loss rather than looking around ourself. We need to have a high emotional quotient, that we do not get carried away by failures and immediately able to reset your mind. Only then we can find better opportunities present around us.
A bend in the road is not the end of the road…Unless you fail to make the turn.
She says that when a linear road bends do not be scared. If your journey suddenly seems to get harder or is demanding you to change your ways or attitude, its not the end of the journey. Adapt yourself and keep on moving forward. The journey only ends when you get off the road, until then no matter how hard the path gets, don't stop.
Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.
Whenever we are persevering towards a goal, we will always be discouraged by negative thoughts. You can let go of these negative thoughts and feelings by focusing only on the on your goal, on future success. Whenever things get tough, always focus on the positive things rather than mulling over the negative aspects.
Continue reading some of the inspiring Helen Keller Quotes.
People don't like to think, if one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.
Most of us will try to avoid contemplation on important topics like a career. They instead find it easier to go through life in autopilot. We don't want to think, because we are scared of the conclusions. We conveniently avoid taking decisions on the most important things in our life like what is our life purpose, what kind of career we want, whom we want to spend our life with. These are such significant aspects that we are too scared of making the wrong decisions and thus, don't think about it at all. We hope by not thinking about them, destiny itself will choose our life for us, and that's exactly what happens. You can either ignore what you want or just have to endure whatever life gives you.
Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.
When we are faced with failures, we start second-guessing, we start thinking if we chose the correct goal if success is really meant to be or all our efforts are leading nowhere. Keller tries to ensure that when we work a noble purpose, our efforts never go to waste. Do not think of today's failures as pointers of similar future outcome. Think of it as an improvement in your skills and knowledge. Keep the focus on future success and enjoy the challenges that you are overcoming today.
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.
She believes that the worst evil in society is apathy in humans. There is nothing worse when we tune out others suffering and become completely indifferent to their struggles. When we don't get emotionally affected by seeing other men in pain, this is a serious sickness of our soul. Scientific progress can cure many things; it has already eliminated many evils from the society. But it can never make us better human beings.
We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world
We will never learn values of patience and bravery if we have only seen joy in life. Suffering strengthens our character and makes us fearless. Failure makes us more patient.
Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content
She says even the worst of times has an ounce of wonderment. Even a blind, deaf person can find the world fascinating; there is no reason why a person blessed with all senses doesn't feel awed by the beauty of the word. She says no matter in which state she is, how bad the situation is, she always has small contentment in her heart just for being alive.
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
She believes security is an illusion and humankind as a whole is always surrounded by dangers of all sort. There is no reason that we should try to protect our children from such dangers by keeping them uninformed. Instead, we should strive to make them brave and strong so they can fight their battles whenever they have to. She says, trying to live too safely to avoid all risks and dangers is as detrimental to their character as being exposed to them. Only thing is the former one has long-lasting effects by making him incapable of facing any danger in his life.
The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.
She says being blind is saddening, but it's even worse to have no dreams. Having no dreams and purpose means wasting your life in self-gratification that gives temporary joy but strips you from real happiness.
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much
She talks about unity in strength. She says a single man's abilities are limited when compared to a groups potential. When many people come together to work for one goal, their contribution is synergistic. Their combined talents and efforts can sort out any problem and can create anything they put their mind to.
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
Even though there is unity in strength, that doesn't mean we can't fight alone. Even if you are alone in the fight, don't quit. You cannot do everything, cannot solve all the problems, but you are definitely born with one talent that can make this planet free of one evil. So have faith in yourself even when you are alone.
No one has the right to consume happiness without producing it.
She believes that everyone should try to spread joy in this world. Whoever is happy, must try to give it back by doing something good for others.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.
She says not to lose hope even when you lose the most precious things. As long as you have a heart that can feel beauty and happiness and wonderment, you can survive. She never felt she couldn't enjoy this world since she didn't have sight and hearing, because she can always feel other's love around her, that was all she ever needed to be happy.
In this article, we saw some of the best Helen Keller quotes.The quotes cover a broad range of category from Vision, Love, Life, Education, Character to Friendship. Hope these quotes inspire you in life to always move ahead in life and serve as important lessons.
Co-author: Shreya Arya
A digital marketing enthusiast with experience in HR and hospital management, Shreya has wide interests ranging from philosophy, psychology to latest trends in automation. She is also a freelance content writer and loves lending beautiful words to ideas and feelings.