My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Friday—I think one of the qualities I admire most in the world is the courage which accepts whatever life may bring, and goes on with undiminished zest in life and apparent joy! It is comparatively easy to bear the blows of fate, in a bitter or sombre spirit but you do not add much to the gaity of a rather dreary world! I visited yesterday afternoon a woman, who has not had an easy life. She is beautiful today, not as she was as a young girl, but because in growing older, depth and sweetness have wiped out such minor things as lines of physical suffering and of sorrow. Physically she is greatly handicapped, but mentally and spiritually you leave her presence with a sense that you have met an eager spirit. She is still keen to do things, has lost none of her curiosity, is kindly in her attitude towards others and gallant and gay in her whole approach to a life which must be lonely at times and which is rather filled with rather constant physical pain.

Just before I left she said: "I hope that if I thought it was neccessary for the general good of the people in my country for me to live on a much reduced and very moderate income level, I would approach the change without any tredipation and with the feeling that I would always have with me many congenial friends!"

When you realize what any change in material circumstances means to an individual who moves at all with great difficulty, that kind of spirit leaves you with a lump in your throat.

Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., and I went to a very light but very amusing play last night called "Room Service." There is nothing in it beyond an evening's entertainment, but I think for a warm summer's night, it is probably ideal, and it is having a considerable success.

Today the Commencement of The Todhunter School took place at the Junior League Club House. The address was given by Dr. Hendrik Willhem Van Loon and I am sure that the young things who listened to him will not forget the impressions made upon them. No graduations are ever to me entirely cheerful occasions, you feel you should be grateful that another group of young people has successfully accomplished something which they started out to do, but there is a curious similarity between graduations and weddings. In both cases the young people are entering upon a new and somewhat hazardous adventure, the success of which lies largely in their own hands. We elders, knowing the pitfalls and the difficulties, cannot help while wishing them every success, trembling a little at some of the experiences which we know they must go through.

The graduating class and the faculty were asked by Miss Elizabeth Ward, a member of the class, to lunch, and now I am about to take the train for Hyde Park and the peace and quiet of the Val-Kill cottage.

E.R.
TMsd 4 June 1937, AERP, FDRL