Helen Keller quotes

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Helen Keller

Birthdate: 27. June 1880
Date of death: 1. June 1968
Other names: Helen Kellerová, Helen Adams Keller, Хелен Келлер

Helen Adams Keller was an American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree. The story of how Keller's teacher, Anne Sullivan, broke through the isolation imposed by a near complete lack of language, allowing the girl to blossom as she learned to communicate, has become widely known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker. Her birthplace in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, is now a museum and sponsors an annual "Helen Keller Day". Her birthday on June 27 is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania and was authorized at the federal level by presidential proclamation by President Jimmy Carter in 1980, the 100th anniversary of her birth.

A prolific author, Keller was well-traveled and outspoken in her convictions. A member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World, she campaigned for women's suffrage, labor rights, socialism, antimilitarism, and other similar causes. She was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1971 and was one of twelve inaugural inductees to the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame on June 8, 2015. Keller proved to the world that deaf people could all learn to communicate and that they could survive in the hearing world. She also taught that deaf people are capable of doing things that hearing people can do. One of the most famous deaf people in history, she is an idol to many deaf people in the world.

Works

Optimism
Optimism
Helen Keller

„Tolerance is the first principle of community; it is the spirit which conserves the best that all men think.“

—  Helen Keller, book Optimism

Optimism (1903)
Context: 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.

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

—  Helen Keller

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

„Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.“

—  Helen Keller

"Helen and Teacher: The Story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan Macy", Joseph P. Lash (1980) http://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/04/21/together/

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„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.“

—  Helen Keller

Source: The Open Door (1957) This quotation is often contracted into: Security is mostly a superstition... Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing. or paraphrased: Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.

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

—  Helen Keller

Variant: Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.

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

—  Helen Keller, book The Story of My Life

Source: Address to the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf at Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (8 July 1896) http://www.afb.org/mylife/book.asp?ch=P3Ch4, quoted in supplement to The Story of My Life

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

—  Helen Keller

Variant: Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. It's what the sunflowers do.

„Love like Ruth's, love which can rise above conflicting creeds and deep-seated racial prejudices, is hard to find in all the world.“

—  Helen Keller, book The Story of My Life

Source: The Story of My Life (1903), Ch. 21
Context: Ruth is so loyal and gentle-hearted, we cannot help loving her, as she stands with the reapers amid the waving corn. Her beautiful, unselfish spirit shines out like a bright star in the night of a dark and cruel age. Love like Ruth's, love which can rise above conflicting creeds and deep-seated racial prejudices, is hard to find in all the world.

„Be not dumb, obedient slaves in an army of destruction. Be heroes in an army of construction.“

—  Helen Keller

"Strike Against War", speech in Carnegie Hall (5 January 1916) http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/helenstrike.html
Context: 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 most important day I remember in all my life is the one on which my teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, came to me.“

—  Helen Keller, book The Story of My Life

Source: The Story of My Life (1903), Ch. 4
Context: The most important day I remember in all my life is the one on which my teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan, came to me. I am filled with wonder when I consider the immeasurable contrasts between the two lives which it connects. It was the third of March, 1887, three months before I was seven years old.

„Our puny sentimentalism has caused us to forget that a human life is sacred only when it may be of some use to itself and to the world.“

—  Helen Keller

Quoted in, The Black Stork: Eugenics and the Death of "Defective" Babies in American Medicine and Motion Pictures since 1915, (1996), Martin S. Pernick, Oxford University Press, New York, NY., ISBN 0195135393 ISBN 9780195135398Part I: Withholding Treatment, ch. 4, Eliminating the Unfit: Euthanasia and Eugenics, p. 92, https://books.google.com/books?id=IJJVYrnImOsC&pg=PA92&dq=%22our+puny+sentimentalism%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=q2xmVd7AL4XPsAX43ICoAw&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=%22our%20puny%20sentimentalism%22&f=false citing New York Call Magazine, Novermber 26, 1915, p. 5. https://books.google.com/books?id=gQfbAAAAMAAJ&q=%22call+november+26+1915%22++++black+stork&dq=%22call+november+26+1915%22++++black+stork&hl=en&sa=X&ei=d25mVfC4DoGLsQXDnYHgCg&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA Compare: "The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit and human life is valuable only when it is of use to the community or race." - Madison Grant, The Passing of the Great Race: Or, The Racial Basis of European History (1922), Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, p. 49. https://books.google.com/books?id=AdcKAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA49&dq=laws+of+nature+require+the+obliteration+of+the+unfit+and+human+life+is+valuable&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Q15mVcfBCsfusAX-0IDQCg&ved=0CCIQ6AEwATgU#v=onepage&q=laws%20of%20nature%20require%20the%20obliteration%20of%20the%20unfit%20and%20human%20life%20is%20valuable&f=false ("Hitler thanked Grant for writing the Passing of the Great Race and said that 'the book was his Bible.'" See, Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism (1994), Stefan Kühl, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195082605 ch. 8, p. 85, https://books.google.com/books?id=UGYfRv3DWuQC&pg=PA85&dq=Leon+Whitney,++bible+grant&hl=en&sa=X&ei=DmZmVdSkC4eRsAXtiIHQCw&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Leon%20Whitney%2C%20%20bible%20grant&f=false Kühl cites: Leon Fradley Whitney (1894-1973), unpublished autobiography, 1971, Whitney Papers, APS, 204-5. https://books.google.com/books?id=NiX6ol8VO0oC&pg=PT264&dq=unpublished+autobiography+of+Leon+F.+Whitney,1971,+Whitney+Papers,&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VmlmVZz3BMX7sAXBjYAI&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=unpublished%20autobiography%20of%20Leon%20F.%20Whitney%2C1971%2C%20Whitney%20Papers%2C&f=false Compare also: "As a result of our modern sentimental humanitarianism we are trying to maintain the weak at the expense of the healthy," Adolph Hitler, as quote in A.E. Samaan, From a "Race of Masters" to a "Master Race": 1948 to 1848, Create Space, ISBN 0615747884 ISBN 9780615747880p. 318. https://books.google.com/books?id=JkXJZtI9DQoC&pg=PA318&dq=%22As+a+result+of+our+modern+sentimental+humanitarianism+we+are+trying+to+maintain+the+weak+at+the+expense+of+the+healthy.%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=sGBmVa_UMMyqsAXeooGIAg&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22As%20a%20result%20of%20our%20modern%20sentimental%20humanitarianism%20we%20are%20trying%20to%20maintain%20the%20weak%20at%20the%20expense%20of%20the%20healthy.%22&f=false

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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