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

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HYDE PARK, Friday—I was appalled to read in today's newspapers that under the McCarran Internal Security Act of 1950 a Federal Judge says he is obliged to order the deportation to Finland of a man who has been in the U.S. for 38 years and who has an American wife and two American children.

The man is 49-year-old Carl A. Latva, a textile worker of Marlow, N.H., who in 1934, believing it would help to win a strike, joined the Communist party, being told that the sole aim of this party was organizing unions. He paid 50 cents initiation fee and 10 cents for four months and then never heard from the party again.

I hope this case will be carried to the Supreme Court. The McCarran Act bars immigration or naturalization to all aliens who have even belonged to the Communist or Fascist party, but it might well be said that in this case the man did not really know what he had joined.

I have just been sent a book called "Karen" by Mrs. Marie Killilea, the mother of a child who has cerebral palsy. This book was condensed into an article for a magazine and I imagine a number of people have read the article.

If, however, you are faced with the problem of coping with a child who suffers from cerebral palsy, you will be very much interested in this book. It tells in greater detail how each victory is won and the day-to-day care and activities that made the victories possible.

Just as in polio, it is not always possible to win complete or partial recoveries, but nearly always something can be done to ameliorate the handicap and to help the family. A book of this kind that tells its story simply and frankly is a great help to other families who have the same difficulties to face.

Someone who read an answer I gave to a question in my McCall's Magazine page as to what books were the most helpful to a woman who had suffered a great tragedy in her life writes that she agrees with my suggestion that the Bible is the book of books. At the same time she sent me a little book by Carmal Myers, called "Don't Think About It," and suggests that this is a very practical answer for some people.

The same thing is said in the book's foreword, which was written by Dr. Lawrence S. Kubie, the well-known psychologist. I think it a practical and wise little book.

At the very end Mrs. Myers gives 10 rules she believes in and I particularly like the tenth, which reads:

"Above all, stop being sorry for yourself. Prolonged grieving over an irrevokable loss may become selfish and inhuman. Making one oblivious to the demands and needs of others .... grief can become a possessive and deadly thing, if allowed to blind us to the world about us. It is not so much what happens to us that counts, but how we meet and handle the experience.

“However tragic the blow that befalls us, let us say, simply and casually, like the Parisian shopkeeper who was asked what he did during the French revolution: 'I survived.' Let us be proud and be grateful for that very act of survival.”

This seems to me a pretty good philosophy when something has happened or may happen that you can do nothing about. The only way to keep yourself sane and useful is to stop thinking about it.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Killilea, Marie Lyons 1913-1991 [ index ]
         American activist for Cerebal Palsy; founded National Cerebal Palsy Foundation
         [ LC | VIAF | Wikidata ]
  • Kubie, Lawrence S. (Lawrence Schlesinger), 1896-1973 [ index ]
         American neurologist
         [ LC | ISNI | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC | FAST ]
  • Latva, Carl Assari, 1903-1984 [ index ]
         American textile worker
  • Myers, Carmel, 1899-1980 [ index ]
         American actress and writer
         [ LC | ISNI | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC | Other source ]
  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, August 9, 1952

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
[ ERPP bio | LC | VIAF | WorldCat | DPLA | Wikidata | SNAC ]

Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

  • Brick, Christopher (Editor)
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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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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.