We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.

Helen Keller

Author, lecturer, and disability rights advocate Helen Keller wrote these words in a letter to a friend in 1890. But the person to whom she’s really directing this insight is her younger self. In the letter, she reflects on becoming deaf and blind at 19 months old. She recalls feelings of deprivation and isolation, believing that “everybody [else] was always happy.” With perspective, however, she grew to appreciate the benefits that came with surviving hardships. In this quote, she highlights bravery and patience — two undeniably remarkable virtues — but leaves out the underlying reason for her bravery and patience in the first place: hope, her ability to find light where there was none; to see in the dark.