SEPTEMBER 5, 1939
HYDE PARK, Monday—It seems futile to write about anything except the international situation, for that is the only thing which is uppermost in every mind at the present time, but life has to go on and so we must still live in little things, even though they will take on a different value in our minds. It is curious when great tragedies occur, how suddenly the minor inconveniences and sorrows of life, even personal things which seemed important, become overshadowed by the general weight of world conditions.
Johnny and I rode together Saturday and Sunday mornings. Though there were many personal things to take up, we discussed, almost the entire time, the European situation and its impact on us as a nation.
I hope that, in spite of the contagion of war, we can keep out of it, but I hope that we will decide on what we believe and do what we can to keep ourselves from being bitter even against those we think are in the wrong. I hope that we will throw our weight as best we can toward a speedy termination of the war, for when there is war no one is safe and the economic consequences of war are serious even to those not involved in the actual fighting. We should do all we can to bring war to an end with as little loss as possible, and to keep ourselves in the frame of mind where we can be fair, just and merciful. Our prayer should not be like the Pharisees: "I thank God for what I am," but a petition that we may be worthy of the mercy which is being shown us. Let us do all we can for those who suffer.
Saturday afternoon, my mother-in-law, Johnny and Anne, Mr. and Mrs. O'Day, Miss Dickerman and Miss Cook, went with me to attend the Franklin D. Roosevelt Home Club meeting on Mr. Moses Smith's lawn. This party is given annually to the President and he always enjoys it, for it gives him an opportunity to see and talk with his neighbors. Yesterday he could not be here, so I had to give them his message of regret. We had the usual local discussions as to whether Hyde Park should have a new post office and how the three new schools should be named. Of course, the final decision lies with the board of education, but everyone is taking a crack at it in the meantime.
I received a letter from Mrs. Kelvin Vanderlip a short time ago outlining the work which the women's division for the Greater New York Committee for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, Inc., is about to undertake. They have been gathering authentic information on which to base recommendations for New York City's fight on poliomyelitis. There are six points which they feel should be incorporated in the program of the permanent New York unit.
One of these points strikes me as particularly important. They suggest that definite help be given to victims, who are able to earn all or part of their living, to see that they are placed in industry without discrimination because of their condition. This point I think most important, for I am frequently appealed to by young people and older people who have suffered from this disease, but who can still earn a living if people would only realize their capacities.