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

[Original version of the column. Text in red are tagged with <sic> (needs correction); text in purple are tagged with <orig> (needs regularization); and text in blue are tagged names of persons or organizations. View emended version]


WASHINGTON, Wednesday—I had a number of visitors yesterday after noon but on the whole, the day was a peaceful one and I finished the mail fairly early. I sometimes wonder how the people who are so impressed by my energy can fail to realize that any woman with a family who does all of her own work, is doing in the course of a day twice as much as I ever think of doing. Just getting the meals and cleaning the house and doing the laundry, not to speak of taking care of several children, who in winter are bound to have the ailments that come the way of all children, will fill up more time and demand a more active life than I live at any time. In the few concentrated periods when I go on trips I may be nearly as active as the normal housewife, and then only because I follow the schedules which other people map out for me.

There is only one thing which I find is a real strain, and that is purely an emotional strain which anyone who reads about as many personal problems and tragedies as I do in the course of every 24 hours would naturally feel. Many of these problems are particularly baffling because there is nothing one can do about them, since the decisions involved are always in the hands of other people. You can find out what people think, you can obtain investigations of situations which might otherwise be overlooked; you can sometimes get some material help where material help is an issue, or you may be able to make some suggestions about the proper procedure to be followed in certain cases. But by and large, it seems that so often the only thing one can do is to try to understand the problems and convey in words one's sympathy and desire to help.

In the papers today there is a notice that February 25th will be a world Day of Prayer. The United Council of Church Women wrote to remind me of this day some time ago. According to them, the day will be observed in 10,000 places in the United States and in over 50 countries around the world. That means that women of many languages and of many religions will join in prayer on that day, and their prayer will be for a world in which justice and right shall prevail.

It is obvious to many of us that ideas of justice and right must differ, but if we pray that we may be given the understanding to know the right, and humbly struggle to achieve it, that is the most that we can do.

Last night I read a pamphlet by Dorothy L. Sayers, a British writer. It is called "The Greatest Drama Ever Staged". It is startling but it jolts our complacency and that may be good for us.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Washington (D.C., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 24, 1944

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)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]
  • Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
    [ ISNI ]
  • Black, Allida M. (Editor)
    [ VIAF | ISNI ]
  • Binker, Mary Jo (Associate Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]
  • Alhambra, Christopher C. (Electronic Text Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]

Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

XML master last modified on: June 9, 2017.

HTML version generated and published on: May 3, 2022.

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