My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK—"Please `Dod', let the President be fat", so prayed a little three-year old the other night. The next morning the friend who was taking care of her and her sister while mother and father had gone away for the night, inquired why she wanted the President to be fat. "Because", said she, "then he won't never be hungry the way we were before he helped Daddy get a job."

Rather sweet and pathetic isn't it? She must be one of many thousands of children who had known real want in the course of the past few years.

I heard of a woman today who was complaining bitterly because she had to cut down on her charitable gifts. Said she: "There have always been a million or more unemployed, and they have been taken care of somehow. Why should the government make such a fuss about them now? I am just telling any one who asks me for help that my income is too much cut for me to be able to do anything for them besides it's the government's responsibility, and if they are not content they had better get together and march on Washington and demand that we people who used to be able to help them shall be let alone in order that we may help them again."

It sounds amusing, but it really isn't because it means a total lack of understanding of other people's situations. That is our great trouble today.

I went last night to a big Democratic Women's Organization dinner in Brooklyn. The men present praised the women for the political work which they had done, but as I looked at their faces I did not think so much of the political organization work which they had accomplished, but rather of what the coming of women into politics has meant. They can not go from door to door and not directly contact other people's lives. Their sympathy and understanding is bringing I believe, a new note into political life and is going to have a more far reaching effect upon the policies of governments, than any of us realize.

The fact that so many young people are active in our political parties and many of them thinking for themselves and trying hard to really get the personal contacts which make evaluation of issues possible, is one of the very encouraging signs in this year of grace, 1936. I hope the great adventure of living today is going to continue to attract these young people and make them constantly active in politics because of the realization that in that way only can they control the circumstances surrounding their own daily lives.

E.R.
TMsd 29 October 1936, AERP, FDRL