JULY 7, 1942
NEW YORK, Monday—We sat long over breakfast at the White House porch on Sunday morning. Three young people with me discussed their differences in background, bringing up and education. The young people, as is natural, look to far better results with their children than was attained by their parents with them.
I think there is great value in the perspective which comes with old age, because you do recognize that there is a constant pressing forward to something that will be better than what came before in each generation.
Our great trouble is that we tend to bring up our children for the world in which we ourselves have lived. We rarely take into consideration the changes which have come about in our own lifetime and which are likely to come about before our children are fully grown. Perhaps we handicap them unnecessarily by too much anchoring to the old and too little preparation for the new.
A number of people lunched with us and it was interesting to think from what distances they had gathered. One from somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, another from England and others from various parts of the United States.
We divided up in the afternoon and one group went off for a picnic supper in the open. The rest of us stayed and had a swim with my daughter-in-law, who was leaving for Texas and felt she must have some exercise before she started on her trip. We saw her off at six-thirty. The end of the day found us again looking out at the Jefferson and Washington monuments from the South Porch as we ate our supper.
We were shown a movie at the White House the other night, which was taken from Eric Knight's book—"This Above All." I liked the book very much and I liked the movie. It is well acted and I think brings out the struggle in the young man's mind. He has been through all the horrors of war and knows what they are, and in his childhood he has gone through the horrors of peace—poverty, lack of opportunity, difficulty in finding a job.
If he could feel that his leaders were fighting for the kind of world that he envisions, everything would have a meaning. Without that he goes through the struggle of deciding whether he must fight to defeat the Totalitarian Powers simply because that defeat will give him a chance to fight for the kind of world he wants.
It still seems difficult to convince and arouse other people to action to obtain the needed changes for a peaceful world in which social reforms will take place. I am sure there are many people who go through these same struggles with themselves and I think the movie should be a great value.