"The human being is born with an incurable capacity for making the best of things."
—"O! Brave New World That Has Such People In't," Red Cross Magazine, September, 1919
"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope."
"A person who is severely impaired never knows his hidden sources of strength until he is treated like a normal human being and encouraged to shape his own life."
"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows."
—Quoted in "Sundry Interviews," A Magazet, undated
"The chief handicap of the blind is not blindness, but the attitude of seeing people towards them."
—Speech for the American Foundation for the Blind, Washington, DC, 1925
"The true test of a character is to face hard conditions with the determination to make them better."
—Letter to friends, March 30, 1921
"To keep on trying in spite of disappointment and failure is the only way to keep young and brave. Failures become victories if they make us wise-hearted."
—Speech at the Wright-Humason School, New York City, Winter 1921
"Many of us delude ourselves with the thought that if we could stand in the lot of our more fortunate neighbor, we could live better, happier and more useful lives. . . . It is my experience that unless we can succeed in our present position, we could not succeed in any other."
—Speech delivered at the Kent Street Reformed Church, Brooklyn, NY, 1927
"Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the face."
—Quoted in Contemporary Quotations, compiled by James B. Simpson, Thomas Y. Crowell, New York, 1964, from letter to a five-year-old blind child, news report of May 31, 1955
"I do not like the world as it is; so I am trying to make it a little more as I want it." —Speech written by Helen Keller about the blindness of society to its problems, 1912