Living with credit

Emily’s list: Helen Keller edition

Emily Crone

On this day in 1968, Helen Keller passed away at the age of 87. According the American Foundation for the Blind, she was born with all her senses, but fell ill at 19 months and became both deaf and blind. While she was initially shut off from the world, a young woman named Anne Sullivan became Keller’s teacher and taught her how to communicate. Their breakthrough was when Sullivan spelled the word “water” into Keller’s hand as she poured water over her hands. She continued with manual sign language, and Keller later learned Braille and then how to use a typewriter.

Helen Keller with Anne Sullivan in July 1888

With the assistance of Sullivan, Keller attended and graduated from Radcliffe College. She went on to write books, travel the world, join political causes (she was a suffragist and published socialist writings) and participate in organizations to help people with disabilities.

According to the foundation, “As she pushed for revolutionary changes in the law, people with disabilities were able to transition into mainstream education and employment. Helen Keller inspired future generations of people with disabilities to live life to the fullest.”

What does this have to do with personal finance? I find that stories like this remind me not to take anything for granted and to always do my best. Helen Keller started her life utterly disadvantaged, but she ended up becoming a legendary hero. She looked past her massive obstacles and accomplished so, so much.

I sometimes find myself in a “woe is me” mindset, especially when I feel tired or overworked, or when money is tight. Sometimes I find myself not being as responsible or proactive with things as I should, whether it’s cleaning the house or advancing in my career. When I remember people like Helen Keller, it reminds me that if she can achieve what she did with such disabilities, then I really have no excuse to not make the most of my life. On this day, let’s remember this incredible woman who overcame amazing obstacles to make history and pursue her dreams.

I hope you’ll keep on reading and enjoy my list of my 10 favorite blog posts from the personal finance blogosphere this week!

1. My Dollar Plan, a former identity theft victim, offers advice on how to protect yourself from this awful crime.

2. On a similar note, Financial Highway explains the importance of online privacy and how to avoid scams.

3. Is student debt still “good debt”? PT Money discusses conventional financial advice that may no longer be true.

4. Free From Broke explains why it’s important to look at marriage as a business agreement and consider financial compatibility before you pick your partner.

5. Sometimes marital disagreements about money are because the partners don’t understand each other. Evolving Personal Finances discusses how you can use the “love language” concept to better communicate about money.

6. Narrow Bridge Finance reveals why he hates carrying around cash.

7. While cash may no longer be the preferable way for many of us to pay, in the case of a major disaster, it’s wise to have some cash on hand. Len Penzo suggests places in your home to hide money for your disaster fund.

8. A guest post on Budgeting in the Fun Stuff explains why and how you should always be prepared for a recession.

9. Think traveling to an exotic foreign country costs a fortune? Young and Thrifty shows how it’s possible to go all the way to Bali and save major bucks.

10. Enemy of Debt uses his own weight loss struggle as an example of persistence to encourage those who are struggling to pay off debt.

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  • When I was a child I learned about Helen Keller and ofter used her as an inspiration. I look forward to reading your posts!

  • Thanks so much for the mention.
    I’m sure there are many who don’t realize how politically active Keller was. Thanks for the reminder of her work.

  • I share the story of Helen Keller with all my students. She is an inspiration to all of us, that despite any natural or physical limitations, we all have the potential to achieve great feats.
    John Macy is an other individual who seemed to have been helped by Anne Sullivan. It is amazing how somebody who was visually impaired in the early 1900s had the mental strength to actually successfully train a number of other impaired people.
    Thanks for sharing this inspirational piece.
    Bob Miller