Helen Keller was born on this day in 1880 (d. 1968). She wrote, "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." Although facing the daunting challenges of being both deaf and blind, she showed remarkable resilience in her life of service.

Keller worked for the American Foundation for the Blind for 44 years and traveled around the world giving new hope to those with disabilities. Her charismatic personality moved both the humble and the powerful — including Mark Twain, Martha Graham, American presidents, and foreign heads of state.

Helen Keller models for us the spiritual practice of zeal which means to be truly alive in the fullest sense of the term. Jean Houston has said of her: "This luminous woman, this person of such intense empathy and interest in everybody and everything, was perhaps the most totally alive human being I have ever met."

To name this day:


Meet Helen Keller again or for the first time by viewing:


Take one of these quotations by Helen Keller and let it be your guiding light this week:

  • "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt in the heart."
  • "Science 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."
  • "My faith in the goodness of the human heart is unshaken. All the days of my life I have been upheld by that goodness."
  • "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."
  • "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable."