Teen Speak
Reflections on the Parable of the Talents

An Inspirational Life: Helen Keller

220px-Helen_KellerAIn life, it is so easy to focus on what we don't have rather than what we do, on our limitations rather than our opportunities. Helen Keller is one of the most inspiring example of someone who rose above her challenges to do something commendable with her life. 

Helen was born in 1880 in Alabama. She was born blind. I don't know about you, but I was afraid of the dark as a child and was really happy to be able to leave a light on in the hallway. I can't imagine living your entire life ... in the dark. Not only that, she was born deaf. If anyone had a reason to curl up in a corner and give life a miss, Helen did.

But she didn't. Through the inspiration of her teacher, Annie Sullivan, she started to make a life for herself. In fact, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the age of 24 and she was top of her class! Not only that, she went on to be an author, a lecturer and an activist, establishing a foundation to help blind and deaf people all around the world. No wonder she ended up on Time magazine's list of the 100 most important people of century. She died in 1968 at age 87.

Here are some of her inspirational quotes:

I can see, and that is why I can be happy, in what you call the dark, but which to me is golden. I can see a God-made world, not a man-made world.

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

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 seldom think of 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.

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

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. 

We can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough.

Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in 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 lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged.

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all!

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