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


NEW YORK, Friday—On Tuesday I went to Westbrook, Conn., to see my friend Miss Esther Lape, and I can report that the countryside is very beautiful, even though it has not reached the height of its autumn colors.

On my return early Wednesday, I spoke for the Earl Hall Inter-Faith Society at Columbia on "Problems in Inter-Religious Cooperation". Later in the day I made the plane for Washington to attend the dinner given for Miss Katharine Lenroot.

I spent Thursday, at the State Department, made a brief call on President Truman, and visited Mr. Averell Harriman and Mrs. Anna Rosenberg. Then I returned to New York City in time to have Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Daniels and some other friends dine with me at the hotel.

Today is a busy day—people to see; a group of military personnel to meet at the U.S. Mission office; my first real visit to the new United Nations building; and, finally, an American Association for the U.N. board meeting. Quite a busy day it would seem.

All the time I was talking to the people in Washington I had in the back of my mind a very interesting pamphlet on Christian life and work brought out last May by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States. To read this tract would be valuable to all people who believe that a real democratic form of government and way of life is dependent on an acceptance of religious belief.

I want to quote just a few things that impressed me most.

"The public mood alternates between near panic and complacency." If we face ourselves honestly I think we will find that is rather a good statement of the way we face world problems today.

Then: "We know we have an enemy. Many are not quite sure who or what it is." And: "When we try to formulate the issues in terms of ideological differences rather than national rivalry we find it is not clearly drawn on those lines."

These things are true, of course, but the conclusion drawn is that most of us have not faced the basic fact. That is that "it is a conflict between atheistic secularism on the one hand and religious doctrine and ethics on the other. "...Christians draw inspiration from the fact that upon the plane of history and not merely beyond this life, there shall be a consummation worthy of the revelation of God in Jesus Christ."

Many of the things in this pamphlet will seem to some people impossible idealism, but I think they are perhaps the only things that will keep alive a spirit in our nation which will make us successfully lead in the world today.

I like, for instance: "The greatest patriot is not he who talks most about protecting our own material advantages against the encroachment of others, but he who lives for others and helps his nation to do so."

And there is one short admonition which I wish could be displayed in every business office and in every government office in this country and throughout the world: "Keep persons above things."

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 6, 1951

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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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.