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5 Things We Can Learn From Helen Keller, Disability Rights Advocate

Helen Keller took off the limits of being blind and deaf and went after her dreams. If she can do it, so can you!

Helen Keller is one of the most memorable women in history. Despite being stricken with an illness that left her blind and deaf, she learned to communicate and lived a life devoted to helping others.

With her faith, determination, and strong spirit, Helen Keller accomplished far more than many people in the world. Her writings and experiences have inspired a lot of people because she is a great reminder that nothing is impossible. (Read: 5 Influential Filipina Women Who Prove Hard Work Pays Off)

Today, as we celebrate Helen Keller Day, here are five of the most valuable life lessons from the disability rights advocate:

#1: Go After Your Dreams

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Photographic print of circa 1894 studio portrait of Helen Keller. (Photo from Perkins Archives, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA)

Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.” (Read: Hidilyn Diaz Inspires Children to Dream High With New Book About Her Life)

People would always tell you to be realistic when you dream. And while this is sound advice, we must take into account that many of the world’s greatest visionaries were not realists. Helen Keller took off the limits of being blind and deaf and went after her dreams. If she can do it, so can you.

#2: Have a Vision for Your Life

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Photographed at the time of her graduation from Radcliffe College in 1904. (Photos from Granger Historical Picture Archive/Alamy Stock Photo, Radcliffe College Archives, and Getty images)

Helen Keller was definitely a visionary. One of her many accomplishments includes being the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. She did not let her limitations hinder her to achieve many great things. 

Many of us go about life distractedly, without a clear vision of where want to go and who we want to become. While people would see disabilities as a setback and would focus their energy on surviving, Helen was determined to thrive, and that sets her apart from the rest. 

#3: Nothing Is Impossible

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Helen Keller (left) “hears” Anne Sullivan by feeling the vibrations on her lips. (Photo from Everett Collection Historical/Alamy Stock Photo)

Were there times that you just wanted to give up a task because it seems impossible? Helen Keller reminds us that nothing is impossible— you just have to keep believing and doing it until you achieve it! (Read: DLS-CSB raises funds for deaf students, launches free sign language course)

Set your mind on what you want to accomplish and don’t stop until you get there. Stay committed to your dream and your dream will come true.

#4: Have Faith

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Close-up image of Helen Keller’s hands finishing up a composition: “Faith is the strength by which/ a shattered world shall/ emerge into the light/ Helen Keller.” (Photo from Samuel P. Hayes Research Library, Perkins School for the Blind, Watertown, MA/Digital Commonwealth)

If there is one thing to describe Helen Keller, it would be faithful. She knew that without faith she would not have the strength to overcome her hardships. But because of her undeniable and unwavering faith, she was able to power through her trials both big and small.

Helen Keller had faith in herself that led her to believe in her dreams. And this faith she had? She was able to share with the world! (Read: A prayer to St. Rita, Patroness of Impossible Cases)

#5: You Make Your Own Destiny

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1956: Portrait of American writer, educator, and advocate for the disabled Helen Keller (1880 – 1968) holding a Braille volume and surrounded by shelves containing books and decorative figurines.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

People often believe that they have to chase the next big thing to make them happy and fulfilled. But Helen reminds us that happiness is not found but created. Everything you need to succeed in life is already in you.

Helen believed that she deserved all the accomplishments. She triumphed over adversities because she did was truly happy and confident in herself. Thus, she was able to share it with others and help them in their own trials, as well.

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