photo of Helen KellerPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Helen Keller. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Helen Keller

Helen Adams Keller (June 27, 1880 – June 1, 1968) was an American author, disability rights advocate, political activist and lecturer. Born in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, she lost her sight and hearing after a bout of illness at the age of nineteen months. She then communicated primarily using home signs until the age of seven when she met her first teacher and life-long companion Anne Sullivan, who taught her language, including reading and writing; Sullivan's first lessons involved spelling words on Keller's hand to show her the names of objects around her. She also learned how to speak and to understand other people's speech using the Tadoma method. After an education at both specialist and mainstream schools, she attended Radcliffe College of Harvard University and became the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She worked for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) from 1924 until 1968, during which time she toured the United States and traveled to 35 countries around the globe advocating for those with vision loss.

Keller was a prolific author, writing 14 books and hundreds of speeches and essays on topics ranging from animals to Mahatma Gandhi. Keller campaigned for those with disabilities, for women’s suffrage, labor rights, and world peace. She joined the Socialist Party of America in 1909. She was a supporter of the NAACP and an original member of the American Civil Liberties Union. In 1933, when her book How I Became a Socialist was burned by Nazi youth, she wrote an open letter to the Student Body of Germany condemning censorship and prejudice.

The story of Keller and Sullivan was made famous by Keller's 1903 autobiography, The Story of My Life, and its adaptations for film and stage, The Miracle Worker. Her birthplace is now a museum and sponsors an annual "Helen Keller Day". Her June 27 birthday is commemorated as Helen Keller Day in Pennsylvania and, in the centenary year of her birth, was recognized by a presidential proclamation from U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

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.

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

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.

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

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

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

It is not possible for civilization to flow backward while there is youth in the world. Youth may be headstrong, but it will advance its allotted length.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

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

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

We 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.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

The best Christmas gift of all is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up with one another.

--Helen Keller

Longer Version:

The best Christmas gift of all is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up with one another.

Jesus is the reason for the season!

From a little spark may burst a mighty flame.

The only blind person at Christmastime is he who has not Christmas in his heart.


photo of author Helen Keller with quote

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

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched. but are felt in the heart.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

True happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

I realized that the wonder is not that conditions are so bad, but that humanity has advanced so far in spite of them. and now I am in the fight to change things. I may be a dreamer, but dreamers are necessary to make facts!

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

The worst calamity: 'To have eyes and fail to see.'

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

It is not possible to refer a complex difficulty to a single cause.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

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:.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Only by contact with evil could I have learned to feel by contrast the beauty of truth and love and goodness.

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

I have found out that though the ways in which I can make myself useful are few, yet the work open to me is endless.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

How easy it is to fly on paper wings!

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

It is a mistake always to contemplate the good and ignore the evil, because by making people neglectful it lets in disaster. There is a dangerous optimism of ignorance and indifference.

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

This great republic is a mockery of freedom as long as you are doomed to dig and sweat to earn a miserable living while the masters enjoy the fruit of your toil.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

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

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

The tragic side of many architectural enterprises is that they destroy natural beauties which are a priceless possession and cannot be replaced.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Only in quietness do we possess our own minds and discover the resources of the Inner Life.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

It is better to have no sight than it is to have no vision.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

I also dislike people who try to talk down to my understanding. they are like people who when walking with you try to shorten their steps to suit yours, hypocrisy in both cases is equally exasperating.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

It was my teacher's genius, her quick sympathy, her loving tact which made the first years of my education so beautiful. It was because she seized the right moment to impart knowledge that made it so pleasant and acceptable to me.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

What if in my waking hours a sound should ring through the silent halls of hearing? ... Would the bow and string tension of life snap? Would the heart over weighted with sudden joy stop beating for very excess of happiness?

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Our worst foes are not belligerent circumstances, but wavering spirits.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Instead of being satisfied to alleviate suffering, we shall labor hard and continually to prevent it.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

I have often thought it would be a blessing if each human being were stricken blind and deaf for a few days during their early adult life. Darkness would make them more appreciative of sight; silence would teach them the joys of sound.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Speech is the birthright of every child. It is the deaf child's one fair chance to keep in touch with his fellows.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

The clatter of a changing world is not pleasant, and those who have enjoyed the comforts and protection of the old order may be shocked and unhappy when they behold the vigorous young builders of a new world sweeping away their time-honored antiquities.

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Christmas Day is the festival of optimism.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Serious harm, I am afraid, has been wrought to our generation by fostering the idea that they would live secure in a permanent order of things.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

How spiritually blind are men that they fail to see that we are bound together. We rise or fall together; we are dwarfed or godlike, free or chained, together.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

I fall, I stand still... I trudge on. I gain a little... I get more eager and climb higher and begin to see the widening horizon. Every struggle is a victory.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

If I could have only one of my senses then I would choose hearing, Then I wouldn't feel so all alone.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

A simple, childlike faith in a Divine Friend solves all the problems that come to us by land or sea.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

We should not think of conversion as the acceptance of a particular creed, but as a change of heart.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

In the country one sees only nature's fair works, and one's soul is not saddened by the cruel struggle for mere existence that goes on in the crowded city.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Long before I learned to do a sum in arithmetic or describe the shape of the earth, Miss Sullivan had taught me to find beauty in the fragrant woods, in every blade of grass, and in the curves and dimples of my baby sister's hand.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

I look upon the whole world as my fatherland, and every war has to me the horror of a family feud.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Smell is a fallen angel.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Smells are the fallen angels of the senses.

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Through my handicaps, I have found my self, my work, my God.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Truly I have looked in the very heart of darkness and refused to yield to its paralyzing influence, but in spirit I am one of those who walk the morning.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

I don't give a damn about semi-radicals!

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

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

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

The only moral virtue of war is that it compels the capitalist system to look itself in the face and admit it is a fraud. It compels the present society to admit that it has no morals it will not sacrifice for gain.

--Helen Keller


photo of author Helen Keller with quote

I, who have never heard a sound, tell you there is no silence, and I, who have never seen a ray of light, tell you there is no darkness.

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Strike against war, for without you no battles can be fought.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

It is always painful to set one's self against tradition, especially against the conventions and prejudices that hedge about womanhood.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

I have made my limitations tools of learning and true joy.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

The way forward is simple -- just follow Christ!

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Rebuffed, but always persevering; self-reproached, but ever regaining faith; undaunted, tenacious, the heart of man labors toward immeasurably distant goals.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

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.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Joy is a spiritual element that gives vicissitudes unity and significance.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

My life has been happy because I have had wonderful friends and plenty of interesting work to do.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

The worst thing in the world is not to be born blind, but to be born with sight, and yet have no vision.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

The hands of those I meet are dumbly eloquent to me. The touch of some hands is an impertinence. I have met people so empty of joy, that when I clasped their frosty finger-tips, it seemed as if I were shaking hands with a northeast storm.

--Helen Keller

Longer Version:

The hands of those I meet are dumbly eloquent to me. The touch of some hands is an impertinence. I have met people so empty of joy, that when I clasped their frosty finger-tips, it seemed as if I were shaking hands with a northeast storm. Others there are whose hands have sunbeams in them, so that their grasp warms my heart. It may be only the clinging touch of a child's hand; but there is as much potential sunshine in it for me as there is in a loving glance for others. A hearty handshake or a friendly letter gives me genuine pleasure.


photo of author Helen Keller with quote

I will not just live my life. I will not just spend my life. I will invest my life.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

It has been said that life has treated me harshly; and sometimes I have complained in my heart because many pleasures of human experience have been withheld from me...if much has been denied me, much, very much, has been given me.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

In times of danger large groups rise to the highest pitch of enthusiasm, courage and sacrifice ... Mankind will be refashioned and history rewritten when this law is understood and obeyed.

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Health in all lands is among the indispensable guarantees of human progress.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

During the first nineteen months of my life I had caught glimpses of broad, green fields, a luminous sky, trees and flowers which the darkness that followed could not wholly blot out. If we have once seen, the day is ours, and what the day has shown.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Thus it is that my friends have made the story of my life. In a thousand ways they have turned my limitations to beautiful privileges, and enabled me to walk serene and happy in the shadow cast by my deprivation.

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Commercial concerns have expanded from family business to corporate wealth which is self-perpetuating and which enlightened statesmen and economists now dread as the most potent oligarchy yet produced.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Once it was necessary that the people should multiply and be fruitful if the race was to survive. But now to preserve the race it is necessary that people hold back the power of propagation.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

Reality even when it is sad is better than illusions. Illusions are at the mercy of any winds that blow. Real happiness must come from within, from a fixed purpose and faith in one's fellow men.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

I cannot but say a word and look my disapproval when I hear that my country is spending millions for war and war engines-more, I have heard, than twice as much as the entire public school system costs the nation.

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

The bible gives me a deep comforting sense that (things seen are temporal,and things unseen are eternal.

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

I hung about the dangerous frontier of guess, avoiding with infinite trouble to myself and others the broad valley of reason.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

The hilltop hour would not be half so wonderful if there were no dark valleys to traverse.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

The million little things that drop into your hands, The small opportunities each day brings, He leaves us free to use or abuse, And goes unchanging along His silent way.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

One's life story cannot be told with complete veracity. A true autobiography would have to be written in states of mind, emotions, heartbeats, smiles and tears; not in months and years, or physical events. Life is marked off on the soul by feelings, not by dates.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

A child must feel the flush of victory and the heart-sinking of disappointment before he takes with a will to the tasks distasteful to him and resolves to dance his way through a dull routine of textbooks.

--Helen Keller

photo of author Helen Keller with quote

I could never stay long enough on the shore; the tang of the untainted, fresh, and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

The heresy of one age becomes the orthodoxy of the next. Mere tolerance has given place to a sentiment of brotherhood between sincere men of all denominations.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

The idea of brotherhood re-dawns upon the world with a broader significance than the narrow association of members in a sect or creed.

--Helen Keller
photo of author Helen Keller with quote

We the living, should not think of the dead as lonely because if they could speak to us, they would say: Do not weep for me, earth was not my true country, I was an alien there: I am at Home where everyone comes.

--Helen Keller

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