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Optimism, An Essay

by: Helen Keller

Though blind, deaf, and left-handed too, it seemed nothing could hold Helen Keller back. For her graduation from Radcliffe College in 1903, this 23 year old idealistic, charming, ever-striving, pampered young essayist wrote: "I find myself looking forward with beating heart and bright anticipations to what the future holds for me. My share in the work of the world may be limited; but the fact that it is work makes it precious." She concludes, "America is confronted with the mighty task of assimilating all the foreigners that are drawn together from every country, and welding them into one people with one national spirit. We have the right to demand the forbearance of critics until the United States has demonstrated whether she can make one people out of all the nations of the earth. . . . . I find that to be an American is to be an optimist." She went on to develop even higher hopes for a borderless, socialist world, where all mankind strive to help each other prosper as one human family.