Helen Keller was an American author, political activist and lecturer who became the first deaf-blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree.
She also co-founded the ACLU, a non-profit organisation which defends and preserves the individual rights of every person in America.
Keller fell ill at 19 months of age which left her blind and deaf. As a result, she was sent to a teacher, Anne Sullivan from the Perkins Institution for the Blind in Boston. Sullivan remained with Keller from March 1887 until her own death in 1936.
Over the years, Helen learned how to read Braille, speak and lip read by placing her fingers on the lips and throat of the speaker while the words were simultaneously spelled out for her.
Keller graduated from Radcliffe College in 1904, but even before she graduated, Keller published two books, The Story of My Life (1902) and Optimism (1903), which launched her career as a writer and lecturer. She authored a dozen books and articles in major magazines, advocating for prevention of blindness in children and for other causes.
Today, Keller is best remembered as a someone who overcame personal adversity to become one of the 20th century’s leading humanitarian advocates, and has inspired many people with disabilities through her perseverance and determination to succeed.
Below, we take a look at some of Helen Keller’s most inspirational quotes:
“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood. “
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. “
“We can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough.”
“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”
“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. “
“Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. “
“No one has a right to consume happiness without producing it. “
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. “
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. “
“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye. “
“All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming. “
“When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so regretfully upon the closed door that we don’t see the one that has opened for us. “
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow. “
“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. “
“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world. “