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Helen Keller: Our Planet Earth

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Helen Keller among cornstalks, circa 1910

As society's focus on the environment has increased it is interesting to note that Helen Keller had a deep respect for the natural world and an innate understanding of the need for a healthy planet. She wrote the following (excerpted here) to Karl Menninger in 1959. Menninger was a leading American psychiatrist and founder of The Menninger Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri.

"Dear Dr. Menninger,

It was indeed a delight for me to receive the article, "Conserving and Using Our Open Spaces", for which I thank you warmly. It is thought-provoking and most stimulating. Not only do I love the open spaces for their beauty and tranquility, I also appreciate their necessity in the preservation of mankind. In fact I cannot help feeling that a wise, conservative use of earth’s remaining resources is essential if man is to benefit by world-wide peace and harmony between the peoples. Earnestly I pray that the United States may follow Canada’s life-renewing example in finding techniques to preserve or create systems of preventing our machine age from wiping out all trace of the wilderness…"

Image: Helen Keller among cornstalks in Wrentham, Massachusetts, circa 1910

Helen Keller