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


NEW YORK, Sunday—A high school correspondent asks my opinion on ways in which we can preserve world peace. "Through these opinions on how to obtain world peace and how to preserve it for posterity," my young correspondent writes, "we sincerely hope to gain a better understanding as to the requirements for world peace. By the views we receive we hope that we as citizens of the U.S.A. may be able to give our full support to any measure that will help achieve world peace."

These questions which come in the mail could easily require a book in reply! World peace is something all of us want, but none of us know the complete answer. The U.N. was set up in the hope that it could be used as machinery by the member nations to achieve peace in the world. No one thought peace would come about overnight. Everyone knew it would be a slow process, a process of education and of gradual understanding of the world and the people among whom we live. It is only through cooperation that world peace can be achieved. That is why the specialized U.N. agencies were set up. Here, nations could work together on specific world problems and in that way create an atmosphere which would eventually bring peace to our troubled world.

Some people feel the U.N. has failed because we do not have peace as yet. I believe that is a mistaken idea. We Americans are an impatient people. If we decide we want peace, we think we should be able to attain it immediately. Unfortunately, that is not the case. We will have to come very gradually to the achievement of our aims, and we must not be surprised that everyone does not see peace achieved in just the way we do.

Because other people visualize other ways, however, we have to be willing to keep studying the questions at issue between us and the other nations of the world. We must always keep in mind the security of our own country, but still be able to study the suggestions made by others. When possible, we must try to adapt our own methods to a form which permits us to cooperate.

All this requires patience, a willingness to learn, and a real liking for people. Where young people are concerned, I think it is a good thing to begin in the early years in the lower classes. There they can learn to get on first with all the different groups within our own country, and then use that as a stepping-stone to getting on with the other nations of the world. I hope that all young people will study the work going on to create better understanding among people, as in the U.N., and that wherever they find ways of cooperating they will do so. For instance, where it is possible for a school in this country to adopt a school in another country and supply books, paper and pencils and exchange letters, I think it would be of great value in obtaining and preserving world peace.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 4, 1953

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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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.