We all would be optimists if we but found the time and put forth the effort to understand what the highest thinkers have put forth - accepting reality as it is, not wanting more than the incredible package deal given to us, and seeing how
wonderful what we have is.   

Definitely, watch the movie about her life!

I am blown away by her wonderful writings, especially in her booklet "Optimism". 
Some quotes and some paraphrasing are below.


"Once I fretted and beat myself against the wall that shut me in.  Now I rejoice in the consciousness that I can think, act and attain heaven."  

"But a little word from the fingers of another [remember how she first learned to communicate] fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living."    

"Can anyone who escaped such captivity, who has felt the thrill and glory of freedom, be a pessimist?"   [Yet we fail to appreciate this and we let it be invisible right before our eyes!]

"Darkness cannot shut me in again.  I have had a glimpse of the shore, and can now live by the hope of reaching it."


"I do live in a beautiful dream; but that dream is the actual, the present - not cold, but warm, not bare, but furnished with a thousand blessings."

She acknowledges that an optimist must live in reality and "count the cost" of living life.   

"My optimism, then, does not rest on the absence of evil, but on a glad belief in the preponderance of good and a willing effort always to cooperate with the good, that it may prevail."  


"I demand that the world be good, and lo, it obeys.  I proclaim the world good, and facts arrange themselves to prove my proclamation overwhelmingly true.  To what[ever] good [there is] I open the doors of my being, and jealously shut them against what is bad."   [When we look for what is good, we find evidence of such.]

"Such is the force of this beautiful and willful conviction it carries itself in the face of all opposition.  I am never discouraged by absence of good.  I never can be argued into hopelessness.  Doubt and mistrust are the mere panic of timid imagination, which the steadfast heart will conquer, and the large mind transcend." [The small mind fails to see the bigger picture, which is why we advocate developing a higher perspective, one which will create massively more happiness in life!]


"My share in the work of the world may be limited, but the fact that it is work makes it precious.  Nay, the desire and will to work is optimism itself.(!)"  

After quoting Carlyle: "It is plain what he says, that work, production, bring life out of chaos, make the individual a world, an order; and order is optimism."  

"I, too, can work, and because I love to labor with my head and my hands, I am an optimist in spite of all."

"I used to think that I should be thwarted in my desire to do something useful.  But I have found out that though the ways in which I can make myself useful are few, yet the work open to me is endless.  The gladdest laborer in the vineyard may be a cripple.  Even should the others outstrip him, yet the vineyard ripens in the sun each year, and the full clusters weigh into his hand."

"I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty and joy to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble.  It is my service to think how I can best fulfill the demand that each day makes upon me, and to rejoice that others can do what I cannot."  [We are fortunate to have the support of so many others to make our lives easier, from the truckers to the farmers to the businessmen...]


"I trust, and nothing that happens disturbs my trust. I recognize the beneficence of the power which we all worship as supreme-Order.."; etc. ..."I recognize this power in the sun that makes all things grow and keeps life afoot.  I make a friend of this indefinable force, and straightaway I feel glad, brave and ready..." 


"All through the years I have spent in college, my reading has been a continuous discovery of good."  "...philosophy record the efforts of human intelligence to be free of the clogging material work and fly forth into a universe of pure idea."  [The pure idea is the "truth" of what is there in life, not the delusions that our childlike minds create.]

"It is also a universe where order is All, where an unbroken logic holds the parts together.."  She trusts implicitly:  "He trusted implicitly, and that is what I do.  Deep, solemn optimism, it seems to me, should spring from this firm belief in the presence of God in the individual; not  a remote, unapproachable governor of the universe..."

Evil is "but a halt on the way to good."  "Though with my hand I grasp only a small part of the universe, with my spirit I see the whole, and in my thought I can compass the beneficent laws by which it is governed."


Philosophy asks the questions of what you think about life and the world.  And these questions have been answered by the greatest minds in history...

She is a "believer in man's inner goodness."

"To know the history of philosophy is to know that the highest thinkers of the ages, the seers of the tribes and the nations, have been optimists."  [Doesn't that suggest something about reality and how great it is, if the smartest thought that way?!]

"The history of man is an epic of progress."

"...he has learned the distinction between right and wrong which makes him a moral being."  "The story of man's slow ascent from savagery through barbarism and self-mastery to civilization is the embodiment of the spirit of optimism." 

In talking of the enlightened parts of Europe and America: "Another right which State has recognized as belonging to each man is the right to an education." [What a privilege, yet we take it so much for granted, rarely appreciating the greatness of the gift.]

When talking of the fruit of the efforts to educate the deaf-blind..."Do you wonder that I am full of hope and lifted up?"

"Thus in my outlook upon our times I find that I am glad to be a citizen of the world, as I regard my country, I find that to be an American is to be an optimist."


"It be true that optimism compels the world forward, and pessimism retards it..." 

"If I regarded my life from the point of view of the pessimist, I should be undone.  I should seek in vain for the light that does not visit my eyes and the music that does not ring in my ears.  I should beg night and day and never be satisfied.  I should sit apart in awful solitude, a prey to fear and despair.  But since I consider it a duty to myself and to others to be happyI escape a misery worse than any physical deprivation."   (We resist reality and we create, as a result, suffering - so foolish!  See the section on Suffering And Struggle.)

"Thus the optimist believes, attempts, achieves.  He stands always in the sunlight.  Some day the wonderful, the inexpressible, arrives and shines upon him, and he is there to welcome it.  His soul meets his own and beats a glad march to every new discovery, every fresh victory over difficulties, every addition to human knowledge and happiness."

"From Browning I learn that there is no lost good, and that makes it easer for me to go at life, right or wrong, do the best I know, and fear not. My heart responds proudly to his exhortation to pay gladly life's debt of pain, darkness and cold.  Lift up your burden , it is God's gift, bear it nobly."  (See This Is What You're Given In Life, Will You Accept The Whole Deal?)

"If you are born blind, search the treasures of darkness.  They are more precious than the gold of Ophir.  They are love and goodness and truth and hope, and their price is above rubies and sapphires."


"Although there are still great evils which have not been subdued, and the optimist is not blind to them, yet he is full of hope.  Despondency has no place in his creed, for he believes in the imperishable righteousness of God and the dignity of man.  History records man's triumphant ascent.  Each halt in his progress has been but a pause before a mighty leap forward.  If we have lost some of the heroic physical qualities of our ancestors, we have replaced them with a spiritual nobleness that turns aside wrath and binds up the wounds of the vanquished.  All the past attainments of man are ours; and more, his day-dreams have become our clear realities.  Therein lies our hope and sure faith." 

[We fail to see that man need not be better than he is nor do we see that we evolved from the animals and that we should be ever so grateful for the immense evolution that has created humans being the most advanced ever created, with the universe's largest computer as a brain, a marvelous body system, and incredible consciousness.]


"As I stand in the sunshine of a sincere and earnest optimism, my imagination 'paints yet more glorious triumphs on the cloud-curtain of the future.'"

In the following, God, remember, is not a governor of the universe, but the "supreme-Order" or whatever man holds this gift as coming from.  Spirit is the human spirit, not some mystical creation:

"If I should try to say anew the creed of the optimist, I should say something like this:  'I believe in God, I believe in man, I believe in the power of the spirit. I believe it is a sacred duty to encourage ourselves and others; to hold the tongue from any unhappy word against God's world, because no man has any right to complain of a universe which God made good, and which thousands of men have striven to keep good.  I believe we should so act that we may draw nearer and more near the age when no man shall live at his ease while another suffers.'"

This is a view of the optimism of Helen Keller (and mine) in seeing "the sunlit side of life", where we are privileged beyond what ever could be imagined for a life of beings, where we have the power to live, think, believe, and be free.  

I submit, for your consideration, the proposition that you would be better off in your life by becoming a full optimist and seeing the truth of the incredible gift we get to live!  


Intelligent Optimism - Practical And Beneficial To The Max - The real way to look at life!  

Prime book to read:

 Learned Optimism, Seligman

This relates also to:

 The Philosophy Of Life

Link, below, into


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