​ Optimism by Helen Keller


“Now touching goal, now backward hurl’d, Toils the indomitable world.”
A rambling essay on Miss Keller’s perspective on optimism, which in my opinion, is the notorious and marred American Dream. Optimism in its true nature is not without 41jp1yjezal-_sx331_bo1204203200_skepticism, faults of which are inextricably linked. To deny the harsher realities that may propagate pessimism is idealistic and although Miss Keller vehemently denies being an idealist – her musings in this essay posit that she definitely is one.
“I see a brighter spiritual era slowly emerge–an era in which there shall be no England, no France, no Germany, no America, no this people or that, but one family, the human race; one law, peace; one need, harmony; one means, labor; one taskmaster, God.”
In her brushing away easily of American brutality abroad and disregarding Eastern religious beliefs, she risks exposing her heavily western inclinations and ignorance of Eastern cultures and history.

  • Certainly most of us regard happiness as the proper end of all earthly enterprise. The will to be happy animates alike the philosopher, the prince and the chimney-sweep. No matter how dull, or how mean, or how wise a man is, he feels that happiness is his indisputable right.
  • A man must understand evil and be acquainted with sorrow before he can write himself an optimist and expect others to believe that he has reason for the faith that is in him.
  • All through the years I have spent in college, my reading has been a continuous discovery of good. In literature, philosophy, religion and history I find the mighty witnesses to my faith.
  • Thus from philosophy I learn that we see only shadows and know only in part, and that all things change; but the mind, the unconquerable mind, compasses all truth, embraces the universe as it is, converts the shadows to realities and makes tumultuous changes seem but moments in an eternal silence, or short lines in the infinite theme of perfection, and the evil but “a halt on the way to good.”
  • Tolstoi said the other day that America, once the hope of the world, was in bondage to Mammon
  • “Now touching goal, now backward hurl’d, Toils the indomitable world.”
  • science converts the dreams of the poet, the theory of the mathematician and the fiction of the economist into ships, hospitals and instruments that enable one skilled hand to perform the work of a thousand
  • The highest result of education is tolerance
  • No loss by flood and lightning, no destruction of cities and temples by the hostile forces of nature, has deprived man of so many noble lives and impulses as those which his intolerance has destroyed
  • One who believes that the pain in the world outweighs the joy, and expresses that
  • Every optimist moves along with progress and hastens it, while every pessimist would keep the world at a standstill

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