Tag Archives: Helen Keller

Everyone Can Be a Hero

One of the prompts for Friday Reflection this week is to write about someone who is a hero to me and why. I see a hero as someone who is very inspiring to me, whom I look up to. I discussed this with the institution pastor last year, when they did a summer series at church on inspiring people. He chose Mahatma Ghandi.

I see many people as inspiring. The most well-known person I mentioned to the pastor – but he’d never heard of her -, was Helen Keller. You’ve probably heard about her “miraculously” learning to use tactile sign language through the work of Anne Sullivan. Keller is also relatively well-known for having graduated college while being deafblind and a woman, both of which put her at a disadvantage in the patriarchal society of her time. However, you probably didn’t know that Helen Keller was a political activist, taking an important position in women’s suffrage and socialism. She was also one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union.

However, you don’t have to have overcome your disadvantages in some kind of miraculous way to be inspiring. In fact, most people only see Keller as having “overcome” her deafblindness and overlook her activism.

There are other disabled people I consider heroes. They however don’t do anything that makes them well-known and many have not “overcome” their disabiities at all. For example, I mentioned Cal Montgomery, author of Critic of the Dawn to my pastor. I don’t know her personally and she isn’t a public figure, so I cannot be sure that how I see her is correct. I do not know more about her than what I see through her writing. However, I can tell that she has determination. I do not admire her for having somehow proven her capacity to get out of an institution by denying her disabilities, which she may’ve had to do. Rather, I admire her for writing about human and civil rights for people judged to be too severely disabled to have these rights.

There are undoubtedly many other disability rights heroes in the world. Some are well-known in their particular disability communities. Others are not. What they have in common is not the “miracle” of their “overcoming” their disabilities, which Keller is publicly known for. Rather, they live their lives not just in spite of but also with their disabilities.

Living your life, in this sense, is a political statement. This applies particularly in the disability community, but it generally applies to everyone. People don’t need to be the first or the best or the greatest to be heroes. Everyone can be a hero in some ways.

Reflections From Me

Favorite Quotes #TuesdayTen

Today, Tuesday Ten is all about quotes. I love quotes. In this sense, I’m not lucky that most quotes today are shared as pictures on social media, although maybe I’m lucky not to get enough of them this way. I use quotes for jumpstarting my writing process sometimes. I also use quotes as part of my art journal pages, although I’ve not done one in a long while because I find it a nuisance to have to ask someone to print and cut out a quote for me.

art Joural Page

Today, I share ten of my favorite quotes, or more accurately, ten randomly assembled quotes I happened to come across and happen to like. I have attempted to make a good mixture between the inspirational and the funny.


  1. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller
  2. “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

  3. “Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.” – Winston Churchill

  4. “I love deadlines I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” – Douglas Adams

  5. “Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” – Mark Twain

  6. “Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” – Virginia Woolf

  7. “I decided early in graduate school that I needed to do something about my moods. It quickly came down to a choice between seeing a psychiatrist or buying a horse. Since almost everyone I knew was seeing a psychiatrist, and since I had an absolute belief that I should be able to handle my own problems, I naturally bought a horse.” – Kay Redfield Jamison

  8. “There is within each one of us a potential for goodness beyond our imagining; for giving which seeks no reward; for listening without judgment; for loving unconditionally.” – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

  9. “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” – Sigmund Freud

  10. “The greatest need that any child has is the need for unconditional love” – Brenda Boyd


That last one isn’t famous (although I bet the Redfield Jamison one isn’t famous to anyone not involved in mental health either), but I got it out of Parenting a Teen or Young Adult with Asperger Syndrome (Autistic Spectrum Disorder by Brenda Boyd. The quote, she says, came from her original publication in 2003.

The Golden Spoons