Helen Keller (1880-1968)

“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.”

“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart”

“One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.”

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

“Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.”

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”

“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.”

“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.”

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.”

“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.”

“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”

“The most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight but no vision.”

“Never bend your head. Hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.”

“People don’t like to think, if one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant.”

“The highest result of education is tolerance”

“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do something I can do.”

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content”

“What I’m looking for is not out there, it is in me.”

“For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of his works; deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to–a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.”

“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.”

“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.”

“When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.”

“Literature is my Utopia”

“You don’t love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or for their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear.”

“Happiness does not come from without, it comes from within”

“Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.”

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement ”

“The best way out is always through”

“We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world”

“So long as you can sweeten another’s pain, life is not in vain.”

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

“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars or sailed an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.”

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”

“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything good in the world.”

“I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the colour and fragrance of a flower – the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence.”

“The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.”

“We can do anything we want as long as we stick to it long enough.”

“College isn’t the place to go for ideas.”

“To keep our faces toward change, and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate, is strength undefeatable.”

“Four things to learn in life: To think clearly without hurry or confusion; To love everybody sincerely; To act in everything with the highest motives; To trust God unhesitatingly.”

“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. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

“So much has been given to me I have not time to ponder over that which has been denied.”

“Knowledge is love and light and vision.”

“My friends have made the story of my life.”

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into light.”

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going”

“I do not want the peace which passeth understanding, I want the understanding which bringeth peace. ”

“As the eagle was killed by the arrow winged with his own feather, so the hand of the world is wounded by its own skill.”

“I thank God for my handicaps. For through them, I have found myself, my work and my God.”

“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. ”

“I rejoice to live in such a splendidly disturbing time!”

“It’s wonderful to climb the liquid mountains of the sky. Behind me and before me is God and I have no fears”

“While they were saying it couldn’t be done, it was done.”

“When one door closes another opens. Often we look so long so regretfully upon the closed door that we fail to see the one that has opened.”

“Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each others welfare, social justice can never be attained.”

“When one reads hurriedly and nervously, having in mind written tests and examinations, one’s brain becomes encumbered with a lot of bric-a-brac for which there seems to be little use.”

“There is no better way to thank God for your sight than by giving a helping hand to someone in the dark.”

“I wonder what becomes of lost opportunities? Perhaps our guardian angel gathers them up as we drop them, and will give them back to us in the beautiful sometime when we have grown wiser, and learned how to use them rightly.”

“As selfishness and complaint pervert and cloud the mind, so sex with its joy clears and sharpens the vision.”

“There is beauty in everything, even in silence and darkness.”

“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.”

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.”

“I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times; but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers.”

“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. ”

“…our enjoyment of the great works of literature depends more upon the depth of our sympathy than upon our understanding.”

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It’s what the sunflowers do.”

“Blindness separates people from things;
deafness separates people from people.”

“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.”

“We bereaved are not alone. We belong to the largest company in all the world–the company of those who have known suffering.”

“The world is not moved only by the mighty shoves of the heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.”

“If the blind put their hands in God’s, they find their way more surely than those who see but have not faith or purpose. ”

“Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible in bright moments as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations because we lack equilibrium between light and darkness.”

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight and no vision.”

“The most beautiful world is always entered through imagination.” 

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope.”

“Your success and happiness lie in you.”

“True happines is not attained through self gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose”

“I believe in the immortality of the soul because I have within me immortal longings.”

“The infinite wonders of the universe are revealed to us in exact measure as we are capable of receiving them. The keenness of our vision depends not on how much we can see, but on how much we feel.”

“Great poetry needs no interpreter other than a responsive heart.”

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.”

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

“The best & most beautiful things in life cannot be seen, not touched, but are felt in the heart.”

“Knowledge is power.” Rather, knowledge is happiness, because to have knowledge – broad, deep knowledge – is to know true ends from false, and lofty things from low. To know the thoughts and deeds that have marked man’s progress is to feel the great heart-throbs of humanity through the centuries; and if one does not feel in these pulsations a heavenward striving, one must indeed be deaf to the harmonies of life.”

“It is so pleasant to learn about new things. Every day I find how little I know, but I do not feel discouraged since God has given me an eternity in which to learn more.”

“Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.”

“They took away what should have been my eyes (but I remembered Milton’s Paradise). They took away what should have been my ears, (Beethoven came and wiped away my tears) They took away what should have been my tongue, (but I had talked with god when I was young) He would not let them take away my soul, possessing that I still possess the whole.”

“The only lightless dark is the night of ignorance and insensibility.”

“Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”

“A beam from the everlasting sun of God.
Rude and unresponsive are the stones;
Yet in them divine things lie concealed;
I hear their imprisoned chant:–
“We are fragments of the universe,
Chips of the rock whereon God laid the foundation of the world:”

“It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision.”

“Thus I came up out of Egypt and stood before Sinai, and a power divine touched my spirit and gave it sight, so that I beheld many wonders. And from the sacred mountain I heard a voice which said, ‘Knowledge is love and light and vision.”

“I cannot remember how I felt when the light went out of my eyes. I suppose I felt it was always night and perhaps I wondered why the day did not come.”

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

“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.”

“Let pessimism once take hold of the mind, and life is all topsy-turvy, all vanity and vexation of spirit. There is no cure for individual or social disorder, except in forgetfulness and annihilation.”

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope.”

“Deep, solemn optimism, it seems to me, should spring from this firm belief in the presence of God in the individual; not a remote, unapproachable governor of the universe, but a God who is very near every one of us, who is present not only in earth, sea and sky, but also in every pure and noble impulse of our hearts.”

“Optimism, then, is a fact within my own heart. But as I look out upon life, my heart meets no contradiction. The outward world justifies my inward universe of good.”

“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.”

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