My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK—This was a glorious morning, cooler than any day has been for some time, and with that quality of clearness in the air which you get in early Fall.

For a long time I have been promising myself a trip to see Miss Lillian Wald at her home in Westport, Connecticut. Today seemed fairly free, so after seeing two of the family off on an eight-six train this morning, and giving such orders as were necessary at home, I drove down to Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Junior's house. She had telephoned me the night before to bring a basket, knowing that I can rarely see baskets for sale without having the urge to buy one, and therefore being sure that I would have an assortment of various kinds on hand. When I reached her house she had ready to put in my basket certain farm products which she thought Miss Wald would enjoy.

We started on our way bearing gifts, but we returned as always with gifts from her, a book, some candy and above all the money of her presence.

We found Miss Wald on her porch to meet us, and spent two very delightful hours with her. I always fall under the spell of her personality and wonder what quality it is which makes an individual able to sway others by the sheer force of her own sympathy and understanding of human beings.

I imagine that the secret lies in the fact that people never become a mass, they remain entities, and so you are able to feel human suffering and make others feel it because it is represented to you by individuals.

One little trait which endears Miss Wald to all her friends is evidenced by the foreword which she has written in the new edition of her book. She had said that young people were apathetic in regard to world questions, but in the last few months had decided that a change had come over their thinking. Instead of letting her first opinion stand, her sense of fairness made her write a foreword stating what changes she had found in the attitude of youth. Intelligence, coupled with administrative ability of a high order, a sense of fair play, generosity, human sympathy. With these qualities, is it any wonder that she has accomplished great things and that people who know her love her?

E.R.
TMsd 18 August 1936, AERP, FDRL