My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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There is always a certain amount of uncertainty in the movements of public servants and fortunately for me I am no stranger to these changes, but it does result in uncertainty for all the rest of the family as well! I rather hoped the President would be here tomorrow morning but he is evidently not going to arrive. If and when he does arrive, I shall probably find myself tied down to some other engagement, but I very carefully planned nothing which would take more than a few hours at any time in the coming weeks.

I started out hopefully to ride in the woods this morning. A lady in whom I have great confidence had told me if I used a certain lotion on my horse's ears and head, the flies would stay away. Instead they seemed to be attracted to the poor animal even more than usual. Dot and I were miserable and when we finally got out into the open country I found that all over her face she had been bitten until they had drawn blood. I could not help thinking how well behaved she has been for, except for constantly shaking her head, she behaved in an exemplary fashion.

My neighbor's guinea fowls were strutting along the stone wall as we passed making a great deal of noise, and Dot did not like it, but as we cantered past the cow which had been staked near the road, the cow did not like us, and ran around in circles as far as her chain would let her. Coming back we were more thoughtful and walked along quietly until the poor cow could see we were harmless.

I am always sorry for animals because you can't tell them things before hand and explain to them, you have to trust to their instinct and their sense of confidence in you. They are peculiarly sensitive to any nervousness you may feel. I have noticed that in horses and dogs particularly. They react at once to fear or uncertainty on the part of the human beings they trust.

The papers are not pleasant reading these days with all the wars and rumors of war both at home and abroad, and today the wreck of the airliner off the Canal Zone is a tragic occurrance.

How gaily we go on from day to day, and how little we think of how quickly the end may come. If we only felt that more keenly, we might make a greater effort to love instead of hate; to be kind instead of cruel on our uncertain journey through the world.

I read something the other day written by a gentleman called Pericles a good many years ago. It is worth repeating today: "For the whole earth is the sepulcher of famous men; and their story is not graven only on stone over their native earth, but lives on far away, without visible symbol, woven into the stuff of other men's lives." That is true of us all, not only of famous men. We can weave bitterness and hate and cruelty in other men's lives, or we can weave kindliness, love and joy.

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