My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Tuesday—We were all saddened by the news of Mrs. Bernard Baruch's death. I left Washington on the midnight to be in New York for the funeral today. Over and over again, it seems to me that the most futile feeling in the world is wishing to be of use to your friends and feeling there is nothing you can do. We all of us experience that feeling, but somehow we never grow accustomed to it.

Yesterday, for the first time, I saw a magazine for children of twelve years and under, called "Story Parade." It is sponsored by Miss Barbara Nolan. Four copies fell into the hands of some young guests of mine and were received with great interest.

I always think I am good judge of a child's enjoyment of books. I have read aloud so many books to children from the age of three up, that, if I know the child, I can gauge its reaction beforehand.

Never having been very good at playing games, much more of my time was spent reading aloud to my children. In consequence I think I acquired both a taste for children's stories and an ability to judge them from the child's point of view.

Someone wrote me the other day and begged me to draw people's attention to the pleasures that could be found in the arts if you developed an appreciation of them. I know of no way to do this except through giving children an understanding of literature, pictures and music when they are young. Their own curiosity will lead them to study, if you can awaken an emotional appreciation.

I heard a story the other day which I shall never forget. When I drive past the Lincoln Memorial and pause to look at the statue of Lincoln, which is paticularly effective after dark when the light plays upon it, I've often thought it beautiful and inspiring. One of my friends' children, however, phrased the feeling that statue gives better than I could.

Looking up at it, she said, "He looks as though it would be nice to sit on his lap."

A tribute to the man with the tender heart who truly was a father to his people, and a tribute to the artist who could portray his spirit.

I came back to Washington just ahead of my house guests—Mr. and Mrs. Frederick B. Adams; Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. L. Simpson and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Willert, who have come down for the Congressional Reception tonight.

What unexpected things one is always doing in life! It is well not to become too rigid and feel that one can not change one's plans. One of the things I think life intends us to learn is an adaptability to the new requirements that may come to us at any moment.


(Copyright, 1938, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Washington (D.C., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 19, 1938

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

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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 UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.