My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

EASTPORT, Maine, Friday—World events seem to be moving in more satisfactory fashion these days. One cannot help hoping that sometime before long we may read that people who once thought that war was the only way to bring about satisfactory solutions to world difficulties may have reached the conclusion that there are possibilities of mutual cooperation. Acceptance of the fact that we are dependent upon each other, not only as individuals but as nations, for our well-being and that the ultimate solution of world problems will require a willingness to agree to this precept, seems the first step forward toward a peaceful world.

In these closing days of the International Student Service Institute here, the question of the way to make Democracy meet not only our own needs, but world needs, has been discussed by Dr. Eagleton and the students. Much interest and real thinking on the problem, I hope, will result.

I have, of course, spent a very short time with this group of young people and I have nothing whatsoever to do with the running of the institute. But one finds oneself receiving certain impressions. I have found first that after five weeks of hard work there is no real lessening of interest in the study of what Democracy means and of how, as individuals, we can function to make Democracy meet the needs of all the people.

Dr. Neilson has made a deep impression on all of us. Perhaps the students who have been under his direction at Smith College will understand what I mean when I say that these young men and women have sensed the benediction of his presence. It is character that really gets across to other people and there has been a recognition of the fineness and the gentleness of a human being who has lived up to his ideals and used his abilities to the utmost. Example is far better than precept.

In addition, I think Mr. Joseph Lash, who has really done the day-by-day management of detail and curriculum on which hangs much of the success of an undertaking such as this, has gained the respect and the affectionate cooperation of all the young people under his care in a way which is only possible when there is realization of a fine spirit. People grow through experiences, if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built and young people recognize this ability to grow in those with whom they come in contact.

I think the students will leave here tomorrow with the feeling that they have gained something enduring from their association with Dr. Neilson and Mr. Lash which will remain an inspiration for better living in their own lives.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL