My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text
[(NOTE—This column is being mailed in advance because of the Thanksgiving Day holiday Nov. 23, in many states.)]

WARM SPRINGS, Ga., Thursday—Here we are in Georgia celebrating Thanksgiving Day, but I do not know how many of my readers will be celebrating it on this same day! Just for my own satisfaction I am going to put down some of the things for which I am grateful, and for which I will willingly be thankful on both the 23rd and the 30th if necessary.

I am thankful that I live in a democracy and that it is in the United States of America. I am thankful we are not at war. I am thankful that more of our citizens are thinking about their government today and are realizing their obligations to that government.

I am thankful that I can think as I please, and write as I please and act as I please, within certain limits which guard these same liberties for other citizens. I am thankful that in this country, courage can still dominate fear. I am thankful for the answering smile of the passer-by, and the laughter of children in our streets.

Even here in Warm Springs, where many people are facing handicaps which must give them moments of stark terror when they are alone, they can still manage to meet the world with a smile and give one the feeling of a marching army with banners flying.

Do you remember my mentioning a manuscript written by a blind woman who learned to live alone? Now I have been asked to go to see her. The book had so much courage in it that even though I am half afraid of shattering an illusion, I think I will take a chance and go. We always picture to ourselves what kind of person it is who has written something we like, and are a little afraid we may not like the real person as well. Yet I may find a new friend, which is always a delightful experience.

It is a curious sensation to be putting on summer clothes again and adding a few days to a season you felt was over for another year. At this season down here there is always a tang and a sharpness in the air of the Georgia hills, in spite of soft breezes and warm sunshine, and walks in the woods are a never ending joy.

There are two swimming pools here, one in which the patients take their exercise, the other in which they play. If ever you feel creeping over you a sense of impatience with the work you have to do, which may be somewhat monotonous and slow in showing results, just come down here and stand around the exercise pool for a while, then go out to see a light-hearted game of ball after the work is over. Day in and day out for months, perhaps for years, this exercise work must go on. If watching this does nothing more for you, it will make you feel you should never be sorry for yourself.

Whichever day you celebrate Thanksgiving, my wish for you is that you may have something to be thankful for no matter how dark your clouds may be, and above all may hope and faith in the future always be with you.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL