JULY 17, 1940
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—I have been watching with the keenest interest the growth of three little robins outside of my bedroom window. I never knew diminutive objects could eat so much and grow so fast. The nest seems much too small for them.
This morning, one of them is trying his wings. He almost flies out, but seems not to have the courage at the crucial moment. It reminds me of myself going off the diving board. I long to be able to communicate in some bird language that, if he just has self-confidence, it will be all right.
Some unexpected guests dropped in yesterday afternoon and we spent a lazy time sunning and swimming. This morning they are off again. The sky looks gray so there is little temptation to do anything but work.
The organization called, "Bundles For Britain" is spreading and a branch has just been formed in Rhinebeck, N. Y., near us. This organization asks American women to send food, clothing, surgical supplies and comforts to both the soldiers and the civilians of Great Britain. I think there is a very warm response to their appeal.
One has a desire these days, to feel that one is doing something toward alleviating the widespread human suffering in so many parts of the world. Since it is almost impossible to do anything for a great many countries, we are fortunate still to be able to do something for Great Britain.
I have a letter today from a young university woman who makes the following suggestion:" If America, instead of pouring all her wealth into armaments and waiting to be attacked, would begin a positive program of relief to all, but no aid to either army, giving repeated promise of technical and material aid to both sides in the event of an equal negotiated peace, if the United States would do this, I believe we would undercut all loyalty to, and power of Hitler before he could endanger our own welfare."
This is the best example of wishful thinking that has come to me in some time, and that is why I am giving it to you today. Many of us would like to feel that this role was possible. It would be, if there was not one strong victorious nation which already has in her power many other weaker nations, and to whom "equal" peace would mean complete control for herself alone.
There never would have been a war if the sweet reasonableness for which most of us have been hoping for in international affairs had existed. Under the present circumstances, all that we can hope for is to keep alive in our own nation a desire to establish this kind of peace on earth, but to realize that a victorious force with a philosophy in back of it such as is preached in "Mein Kampf" can never be vanquished except by equal force.