JANUARY 6, 1938
NEW YORK, Wednesday—We had our annual birthday party for the staff of Todhunter School last evening. It was a very jolly party. The birthday cake which I had sent up from Washington arrived in perfect condition and furnished much merriment because of the silly little things to be found in it. The wishbone fell to me and so I had the opportunity to make a wish for the future of the school.
No matter how old we are, we always enjoy making wishes and have a childish trust that perhaps they will come true. I imagine it is only this eternal optimism and faith in the future which makes it possible for a great many people to go on from day to day. When things happen which seem to have no sense or meaning, most people can bolster up their hope by faith that the Lord knows best and has some hidden plan. Those who have less religious security, fall back on the optimism inherent in human nature which makes people feel the future will be better than the past, no matter how often they have been disillusioned.
I was sent a little book the other day called "Quiet Corner Reflections" by Patience Strong. In it I find the following quotation:"Do not heed the world, its taunts and jeers—Lift your eyes and face the coming years—All great things are bought with human tears - so dream again." Eternal optimism makes it possible to dream at all, but how thankful we can be that this power was given to us poor humans.
I did not go to the theatre with our party last night because they went to see "Susan And God," which I had already seen. Also, I had been warned a wisdom tooth would probably give me a good deal of pain after I had parted with it.
This, however, did not happen, so I picked up a friend after dinner who spent an hour with me. We talked at some length of the death in Spain, of the Associated Press Correspondent, Eddie Neil. I remember him as a charming, very much alive, human being. To his friends his loss is a stunning blow, for he was very popular and very much beloved.
It seems a waste, to me, for the sake of getting more colorful news, to send these men, who are not in any way concerned with the war which is going on and the principles at stake, into such positions of danger. Three men, two Americans and an Englishman, have died, and with apparent pride a formal announcement is made to the effect that we should realize what dangers correspondents go through to give us the news.
To be sure, these men, not only go willingly, but often are anxious for the assignment. Personally, I would prefer to have those three men alive and a little less accurate and colorful news, and I am quite sure the majority of the people in the United States feel the same way. If men must die, let it be for their own convictions, not because they are sent out so we may read or see something more startling in our newspapers and newsreels.