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

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HYDE PARK, Tuesday—I begin to think that there is a stirring among the people and that they may decide to push their own ideas and try to help create a peaceful world. The reason I say this is that in the mail yesterday I received two interesting communications.

One was a plan from a high-school boy in Wisconsin who said it seemed to him that if the United Nations could lay down rules to affect the conduct of war, it should be able also to outlaw war and to set up a police force to prevent nations from fighting each other. He pointed out that in ancient days every individual fought other individuals, then tribes fought tribes, then one group of tribes fought another group, and now it is nations fighting nations. Since we have grown able to prevent individuals from attacking each other, we must now reach a point where nations too could be held in check.

His idea is that the best way to keep people from destroying each other is to keep them so busy creating and producing that they have no time for war! He suggested that we set to work reclaiming all parts of the world which are not now suitable for man's habitation.

* * *

In the same mail was a letter from a veterans' group in California urging the spread of the idea that each individual every day should lend a helping hand to some other individual and, in doing so, should tell him that the only return required was that he pass that aid along in some form to somebody else. In this way we would become better neighbors here at home and, before we knew it, this friendliness would extend to people the world over.

Both these correspondents seem to feel that fundamentally all human beings are much the same. They love and they hate; they suffer and grow weary; they are hungry and cold; they long for security and better living conditions. And this is so whether your origin is European, Asiatic or American.

If enough people begin to feel that destruction of the human race is inevitable in case of another war and that some form of solution must be found before our present impasse is permanent, a new spirit may be breathed into the negotiations between governments.

* * *

In the meantime, suggestions are being made by which, as individuals, we can help the people of Europe. There is a non-profit organization headed by Dr. Erling Eidem, Archbishop of Sweden, which will send food or household parcels from Sweden to any European country. The organization's references seem excellent and the make-up of the parcels seems very practical.

Many a harried housewife in this country who is trying to help in the voluntary food-conservation program may feel that buying food for Europe in some other country besides the United States may be doubly helpful. This organization is called "Help the Victims of War", and the New York City offices are at 76 Beaver Street.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]
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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 28, 1948

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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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.