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January 17, 2023

I haven’t ready much by Helen Keller and what I did read was very long ago and probably part of a junior high school assignment. While quotes from her books and lectures can be found everywhere, there’s one that stands out for me and it’s from the book Open Door which is a compilation of previously published material. Kind of like a greatest hits, but of thoughts and ideas instead of music.

If you’re inclined to share, I’m interested to know what you think of the quote and how you relate to it. Personally, I like quotes that are upbeat and positive, but this one isn’t that, at least not for me. But I like the quote because it’s stuck with me, and it makes me think. The quote has always made me feel a little anxious because if security is a superstition, then what are we hanging onto out here? What’s holding us up?

What I’ve never understood about the quote is what she meant by “Faith alone defends”. Faith in what? She tells us that God is not secure and nature isn’t secure, so what is secure? Fate? Fate is kind of scary. Is faith immanent? Faith in ourselves is even scarier.

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. God Himself is not secure, having given man dominion over His works! Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold. Faith alone defends. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” – Helen Keller

7 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2023 9:08 am

    I think it’s along the lines of faith that one will be happier living a bold life than a quiet one, which has been stated many times in many ways. I get it ~ if you ENJOY a bold life, full of new adventures and meeting new people, then of course you will be happier doing that than staying home. But what bold peeps fail to understand is that there are many of us who do NOT enjoy those things and don’t avoid them out of fear but merely personal preference 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • January 17, 2023 11:34 am

      I think you’ve nailed it, Paula. Even the free spirits get down with their ‘freeing’ lifestyle. I don’t know that security is a superstition–maybe more of an illusion. Kinda like be careful what you wish for.

      Liked by 2 people

    • January 20, 2023 11:48 am

      So maybe just faith in life in general? No expectations for the future, no rumination on the past, just faith in right here and right now?


      • January 20, 2023 2:15 pm

        Ruminating on the past is pointless. Learn from your mistakes and move on. I am not a believer in ‘regrets.’ It’s over. Check, please! Faith in the here and now. No karma, no happenstance. I believe our book is written. We can’t read ahead so focus on the ‘now.’ But that’s just me. Some might call in negativity; I call it reality.


  2. Perpetua permalink
    January 17, 2023 7:07 pm

    When I think of “faith” not fate I can only relate to spiritual belief. I don’t know Kelley’s belief system or religion, I suppose as a blind person, one does not have to see to believe. Therefore, for a believer with faith everything is possible when it comes to immanent spirituality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • January 20, 2023 11:53 am

      I never thought of how her definition of faith might be different because of being blind. I also have a hard time separating faith from spiritual/religious belief.


  3. January 23, 2023 12:04 am

    I read it as that *thing* that still gets us up in the morning or behind the wheel of a car or attending that uncomfortable meeting. Despite insecurity, we stand to face life. That is faith.


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