The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Monday—We are again observing "Be Kind To Animals Week" from April 11th to April 17th. Though it may seem to a good many people that a time when the world is hardly a kind world is not a time to emphasize, kindness to animals, and that we should think primarily of our attitude toward human beings, I believe there is great value in continuing to train children in the proper attitude toward their pets.

This is the way that they learn to be imaginative enough not to wait for someone to tell them what is the matter, but to try to understand the appealing eyes of a dumb animal. I hope that even during war, children will not have to give up their pets, but will be allowed to make personal sacrifices to keep them and to look after them.

We shall need plenty of imagination in the coming years to realize how differently people feel and how they react to various situations. I doubt if men or women, no matter what they go through, are going to want pity, but they all need understanding and help to face whatever situations may come to them.

A great sacrifice calls for admiration and, perhaps, for just a little envy that the great majority of people can only sacrifice a little, the one unbearable thing would be to feel that people pitied you.

I have been watching with interest the Todd-Murray Bill in New York State, which the Governor has just signed. It redefines war work and says it is: "noncombatant service performed in connection with the manufacture, production and distribution of articles, materials and supplies for war, or noncombatant service performed in connection with any other work related thereto, or noncombatant service performed in connection with any occupation, activity or employment essential to the effective prosecution of the war, or necessary to promote and protect the public health and welfare, the safety and security of the country and the state."

It is the redefinition of war work that is important, for the bill allows the employment of minors between the ages of 16 and 18 in this type of war work, which seems to cover a pretty broad field. Of course, in Great Britain, the manpower situation has forced the employment of minors from the age of 14 up.

If the War Council watches carefully the type of dispensation which is given to industries under this bill, there is probably no great harm done, though I cannot help regretting the need for the employment of minors here.

Sometimes, being a messenger at night is not such safe work, and this bill will allow 16 to 18 year-old youths to be used for that type of service. It is real need that must be the conditioning factor and we must wait to see what happens all over the country.



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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 13, 1943

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
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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.