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

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NEW YORK—In a recent speech, Raymond J. Seeger, deputy assistant director of the National Science Foundation, made several points which I believe are worth thinking over.

Discussing the question of peace, for example, he said: "Peace is a cumulative, unending succession of agreements based upon the agreement to agree. The very word 'pact' comes from 'pachere', a Latin word meaning 'to make an agreement.' Now an agreement involves more than one party... The United Nations are not a building; the United Nations are people, people united for this common purpose and for that mutual objective. A conference table is a tool for initiating peace; an organized group is a machine for implementing peace."

Toward the end of his speech, Mr. Seeger added these encouraging words: "As pilgrims on this great crusade (the crusade for peace), at times we move doubtfully through the slough of despair and fearfully pass through the valley of the shadow of death; we falter for want of light. We are discouraged because the skies do not open and shower us with special floodlights. Modern floodlights, however, are still measured in terms of candle power. All that we need are candles, but enough of them—one candle burning here, one burning there, candles burning here, there, everywhere—you in your place, I in mine, people in their places all over the world. The total candle power of all dedicated individuals illuminates this great crusade, a crusade of men of goodwill, a crusade for freedom among men, and on earth peace."

This speech must have been stirring to hear, and it carries the germ of something we should all think about. It shows us our individual responsibility, and I am beginning to think that this recognition of individual responsibility and acceptance of this responsibility is almost an essential.

People have been saying more and more of late that peace must begin at home. Each individual must have peace in his heart toward other individuals, and it must extend throughout each nation before the nations can come together in peace. I think this is probably true, and we should direct our thoughts not only to world peace but to peace within our own nation. We should try to educate our brothers here at home to the realization that we are one family throughout the world, regardless of color or creed, and we begin to show this oneness which leads to peace by accepting it at home in our own country.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 25, 1957

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.