My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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SEATTLE, Tuesday—I really am beginning to feel quite at home in Seattle. This is my fourth visit in a year and half and I think before long everyone will take me as much for granted here as they do at home.

One thing interests me very much. Jack and Jill, the two Irish setters who came from Miss Laura Delano's kennels at Rhinebeck, New York, and who used to spend the winters with me in Washington when my daughter and her family lived in an apartment in New York City, never fail to greet me with the greatest joy. At first they sniff, and then they very suddenly discover that I am an old friend. They sit beside me and put up their paws, regardless of whether they have just been out in the mud or not, to show me they are glad to see me. If you like dogs, it is certainly flattering to be remembered by them.

The children could hardly wait until I had opened my bags to find Shirley Temple's police badges and they are wearing them with great pride. I wish she could be here with Eleanor and Curtis, for I am sure they would have a good time together.

Mrs. Isham, the Regional Director for WPA Women's and Professional Projects, stopped in to see me yesterday. She and Mr. Abel, the WPA Director, are taking Mrs. Scheider, my daughter and me to lunch at their household training project today.

Last night I lectured at the University of Washington and was asked a question on which I had been ruminating all afternoon. Many groups of women feel that giving toy soldiers and warlike toys to children is very bad because it encourages them to glorify the warlike attitude. But sometimes I think we learn things from children, and I had a lesson yesterday afternoon.

My small grandson was playing with some soldiers and suddenly, without any prompting, he looked at me and said: "I don't like to play war, but I love to make parades." A little while ago, when he was listening to a conversation about war, he remarked: "War kills people with gases and things of that sort, but I like to play with soldiers and they don't have to be hurt."

I wonder if it isn't more important to guide children in their thinking than it is to worry about the toys they have? He has already learned there are different uses to which you can put an army. He likes a parade and he doesn't like what he has heard about war. Perhaps, someday, we will all think of armies as police forces to preserve the peace of the world and then they will become that, instead of forces for aggression.

It is interesting to note how often we have to readjust our thinking because of new points of view which may come to us. It always gives me a thrill to think there are new sides to old questions and that not everything has been ever said on any question. Your particular viewpoint may be entirely new to someone.