JANUARY 24, 1939
WASHINGTON, Monday—There is no question about it, we are taking more interest in our young people. I have never been asked to attend so many meetings for the consideration of youth's problems.
Yesterday afternoon, while the wind was still blowing lustily, I went over to the Women's City Club to attend a tea for the Junior Guild and, before I went, the representatives of another important woman's organization called to ask me about a program of study for their young members, who range in age from 18 to 30 years.
While I listened, my mind went back to my own early years and I remembered how long it took me to outgrow the idea that sitting on a board and occasionally visiting an institution really represented any kind of work. I will grant you that boards have to exist, money has to be raised and plans have to be made, but why not leave this work to older people who are past the need for education? As long as you are young and physically able, why not get out and learn something first-hand by having a few actual contacts and doing a little real work?
A newspaper headline this morning says that I dislike lectures. That isn't so. I like lectures which tell me something new, but I don't want the whole of youth's activity to stop with a lecture or a study program. These things should serve only as a stimulus from which to spring into action.
I lunched today with the Health Committee of the Washington Council of Social Agencies. The chairman told me that their meetings were better attended than ever before, which shows the realization of the importance of public health work. We are graduallly coming to realize that the health of the community and interest in preventive medicine can mean much in solving many other social problems.
The Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York City has just sent me two interesting publications. One, a slim volume entitled "Opera Cavalcade," is the story of the Metropolitan Opera Company. The other, four small books for children, containing the stories of Carmen, Aida, Lohengrin, and Hansel and Gretel, are all told in a way to capture the imagination of children. These books will add tremendously to the pleasure of seeing and hearing an opera for the first time, whether you are young or old.
Another little book has come to me from a friend telling me of a school for radio technique which has been in existence for some time in New York City. It sounds fascinating and as though all of us who have to face a microphone every now and again should go there to see how we may improve our technique. They will teach you to write radio scripts also. But few of us are able to aspire to such talent, whereas all of us may have to speak over the radio and owe it to the vast listening public to do so as creditably as we can.