Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Three Life Lessons from Helen Keller

I just finished reading The Story of My Life by Helen Keller. I knew her story, or so I thought. She was the bratty little girl who threw tantrums because she couldn't see or hear, until Anne Sullivan came along and taught her how to communicate.

(And really, I shouldn't fault her for throwing a fit because she lived in darkness/silence, because I can't even fathom what that must have been like. No judgments here.)

What I didn't realize, though, was how motivated she was and how hard she worked to accomplish her goals.  

I mean, the girl worked her ass off. By the time she headed to college, she could already speak(!) and read multiple languages, AND she could do geometry. I had 20/20 vision (with contacts) and I couldn't figure geometry out (shapes! angles! numbers!).

But seriously: If a blind/deaf girl from the South can learn to read and speak French, there's no excuse for the rest of us.

So, here are three takeaways from the life of Helen Keller, and the quotes that inspired them:

1. Be Optimistic

2. Take Risks

3. Give 100%, and Stay the Course

And always: Be Brilliant (just like Helen). ;)


P. S. It goes without saying that I highly recommend reading her autobiography if you haven't already. After the temper tantrums subsided, Helen became a kind and generous soul determined to open doors for children like her, and to change our attitudes towards and understanding of them.