SEPTEMBER 21, 1938
NEW YORK, Tuesday—We have had so much rain the last few days that I haven't been able to ride and everything around us is gradually floating away. I am really sorry to have such weather this week, for it spoils the last few days of daylight saving for so many people. As a matter of fact, I enjoy a day in the house with an open fire, particularly now when there is so much to be done before we move to Washington on Monday of next week.
Today we drove down to New York City in order to keep an appointment for this afternoon, and the rest of our week will be fairly busy.
As I open my newspaper every day, I cannot help thinking what a strain people in Europe must be under. It is one thing to be at the top during a period of this kind, receiving all the information that is available and feeling that you are doing whatever can be done, but just to be one of the people, that is different. The ordinary citizen receives a slip and reports for duty at a given time. He leaves his family and his home and knows so little of what the higher-ups are doing. The mother of a family is left at home and must wait from day to day without any information and with fear clutching at her heart. What character it must take to preserve the daily round of homely tasks!
The other day, when I looked in one of our papers at the pictures of the French Reservists leaving, I thought of how terrible it must be for those who remember 1914. How incredibly stupid it is for us to resort to force again! I thought of so many young people I saw at the World Youth Congress, many of whom must now have received their marching orders, and none of whom had any confidence in war as an ultimate solution of the difficulties which confronted their respective countries. You may love your country very dearly, but it must be hard to go out and fight at the behest of a group of people on top, with the question in your heart of what your end will be out of all the struggle.
The other day, I sat in with a group of young people who were discussing different types of security. I thought of my own youth and when we were told to save for the future and certain very simple rules of procedure were instilled in all of us. For instance; never buy anything until you have the wherewithal to pay for it, put something aside from everything you earn, etc. I wasn't much surprised when one young person remarked: "What is the use of saving in a world which is so insecure, as far as war is concerned, that no small personal property can make the slightest difference?" In other words, youth is seeing more and more clearly that it is the stability of the whole which counts, that no individual can create security unless there is general security.