My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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SEATTLE —We had a most successful birthday party last night. No one attended but our own household, but we seemed to manage to entertain each other very well. We all dislike the noise of "snaps" but we had them, just the same, and everybody pulled them, protecting their ears as best they could. The highlight of the evening was a birthday telegram to Anna from the entire newspaper, staff which unrolled itself across the length of the livingroom floor. I know nothing which is a greater joy than to feel that the people with whom you work are thinking of you kindly.

When the children went to bed they informed us that they enjoyed this birthday party just as much as they had enjoyed their own! Eleanor had been kept quiet all day, on account of her cold, but the party seemed to be a complete cure. A slight rain this morning, which is now clearing off, kept her indoors for another day, but Curtis went off, not only to school, but to attend another party, by himself, afterwards, which made him feel very important.

I came in to Anna's office with her, and we finished up the work which we started yesterday afternoon, on Wednesday's broadcast, which we are doing together. The subject happens to be one in which we are both very much interested, but in such a short space of time, it is difficult to explain many things which really can only be adequately covered in books. I often think it is perhaps presumptuous of us to attempt to talk on subjects which so many people spend years in studying. Experts, and people who give their lives to research, never seem to me to get proper recognition in this world. For most of us are so busy that we listen more readily to people who give us in simplified form what they have gathered from the experts. However, everyone of us owes a debt of gratitude which we should not forget, to the quiet and unobtrusive workers who do the really scientific work on all these questions. I only hope that something which we say may be the means of stirring people's interest sufficiently so that they may delve deeper into many questions of education and child care which will certainly mean that the children they come in contact with will profit.

I've received many letters since coming to Seattle, and one of them I want to quote to you: "My thoughts of how to better all conditions have crystallized into a few words. Popularize the words and actions of Christ, as recorded in the Holy Bible, through study clubs and public forum discussions on their practical application as solutions for modern problems." This sounds very simple, and many, many people have said the same thing to me. There is no question but what a world made up entirely of Christ-like human beings would be a rather remarkable world to live in. The only difficulty is that study clubs and public forums do not always make fundamental changes in human nature. It takes the slow evolution of years to bring about these changes, and we will have to have a little patience , I think, before we can trust all human beings to follow the 'words and actions of Christ' without the aid of some coercion in the form of law and public opinion.

A wire from the President told my daughter yesterday that he and Elliott were being rather successful fishermen, so I expect we shall hear rival tales for many years to come.

E.R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 5, 1937

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

  • Brick, Christopher (Editor)
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  • Black, Allida M. (Editor)
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  • Binker, Mary Jo (Associate Editor)
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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a draft version of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. My Day column draft dated May 4, 1937, FDR Library, Hyde Park, NY
TMsd, May 4, 1937, AERP, FDRL