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Helen Keller's Speech
1925 International Convention
Cedar Point, Ohio USA
June 30, 1925
Dear Lions and Ladies:
I suppose you have heard the legend that represents opportunity as a
capricious lady, who knocks at every door but once, and if the door isn't opened quickly, she passes on, never
to return. And that is as it should be. Lovely, desirable ladies won't wait. You have to go out and grab 'em.
I am your opportunity. I am knocking at your door. I want to be adopted.
The legend doesn't say what you are to do when several beautiful opportunities present themselves at the
same door. I guess you have to choose the one you love best. I hope you will adopt me. I am the youngest here,
and what I offer you is full of splendid opportunities for service.
The American Foundation for the Blind is only four years old. It grew
out of the imperative needs of the blind, and was called into existence by the sightless themselves. It is national
and international in scope and in importance. It represents the best and most enlightened thought on
our subject that has been reached so far. Its object is to make the lives of the blind more worthwhile everywhere
by increasing their economic value and giving them the joy of normal activity.
Try to imagine how you would feel if you were suddenly stricken blind
today. Picture yourself stumbling and groping at noonday as in the night; your work, your
In that dark world wouldn't you be glad if a friend took you by the hand and said, "Come with me and l will
teach you how to do some of the things you used to do when you could see?" That is just the kind of friend the
American Foundation is going to be to all the blind in this country if seeing people will give it the support
it must have.
You have heard how through a little word dropped from the fingers of
another, a ray of light from another soul touched the darkness of my mind and I found myself, found the world,
found God. It is because my teacher learned about me and broke through the dark, silent imprisonment which
held me that I able to work for myself and for others. It is the caring we want more than money. The gift
without the sympathy and interest of the giver is empty. If you care, if we can make the people of this great country
care, the blind will indeed triumph over blindness.
The opportunity I bring to you, Lions, is this: To foster and sponsor
the work of the American Foundation for the Blind. Will you not help me hasten the day when there shall be
no preventable blindness; no little deaf, blind child untaught; no blind man or woman unaided? I appeal to you Lions,
you who have your sight, your hearing, you who are strong and brave and kind. Will you not constitute yourselves
Knights of the Blind in this crusade against darkness?
I thank you.
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