On June 27, 1880, Helen Keller was not born. At least, not the Helen Keller who became an inspiration to millions. She was not deaf, and she was not blind. Nineteen months later, however, she contracted an illness that eventually stole both her hearing and her sight. At that point, her family did not know that Helen Keller would grow up to be one of the most respected women in history. She was just a little girl who suddenly had to navigate the world with neither eyes nor ears. [photos from Topical Press Agency/Hulton Archives]
In honor of her birthday, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite Helen Keller quotations. It’s quite remarkable, really, that it is the words of a woman who could neither hear nor see that remain immortal. Indeed, perhaps it is the very struggle from which these words were born that leaves them so treasured. It is undoubtedly that very struggle that illuminates their power.
Helen Keller, it seems, would have made a remarkable mother. See for yourself:
“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything good in the world.”
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
“Everything has it wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn whatever state I am in, therein to be content.”
“Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lost of the great majority of fellow man. It then appears that we are among the privileged.”
“No pessimist every discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an unanchored land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.”
“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”
“All that we love deeply becomes a part of us”
“It gives me a deep, comforting sense that things seen are temporal and things unseen are eternal.”
She knows what she’s talking about. She lived in a world of darkness and still managed to not only notice–but also appreciate–all the good in the world.