Helen Keller on learning meaning of think and love


Helen Keller portrait
Helen Keller

“Miss Sullivan touched my forehead and spelled with decided emphasis, ‘Think.’

In a flash I knew that the word was the name of the process that was going on in my head. This was my first conscious perception of an abstract idea.

For a long time I was still … trying to find a meaning for ‘love’ in the light of this new idea. The sun had been under a cloud all day, and there had been brief showers; but suddenly the sun broke forth in all its southern splendour.

Again I asked my teacher, ‘Is this not love?’

‘Love is something like the clouds that were in the sky before the sun came out,’ she replied.

Then in simpler words than these, which at that time I could not have understood, she explained:

‘You cannot touch the clouds, you know; but you feel the rain and know how glad the flowers and the thirsty earth are to have it after a hot day. You cannot touch love either; but you feel the sweetness that it pours into everything. Without love you would not be happy or want to play.’

The beautiful truth burst upon my mind — I felt that there were invisible lines stretched between my spirit and the spirits of others.”

– Helen Keller

“Helen Keller on learning the words think and love” sources:

Photograph of Helen Keller taken circa 1907 – Helen Keller. Jan. 15. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2004673084/>. / Keller, Helen. The Story of My Life. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1954. Print. / Helen Keller Wikiquote

  1. Click here to read our Snapshot Biography of Helen.
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