OCTOBER 2, 1946
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Anyone of my age, living in the country, should make friends with David Grayson through his "Adventures." He wrote "Adventures in Contentment," "Adventures in Friendship," "Adventures in Solitude" and "Adventures in Understanding," as well as many other books. You need to have a few years behind you, perhaps, really to enjoy these "Adventures," but every now and then, there comes a quiet evening when I sit before the fire and reread just a few.
Last night it was "The Man Afraid" in the volume "Adventures in Understanding." I enjoy the spirit that took Mr. Grayson to visit the man who had written him a letter—probably because, every now and then, I myself am moved to do something of the kind and have exactly the same sinking of the heart as Mr. Grayson had on entering the letter-writer's office. The letter had conveyed to him the man's fear of life, and he wanted to tell him that that fear was the first fear to be overcome.
One must be friends with oneself before one can achieve contentment and courage, and one must understand that living is an adventure—an adventure that can only be savored by the courageous. There is, of course, no such thing as real security for anyone in the world. There may be sorrow and suffering around the corner for anyone at any time. Nevertheless, life is worth living and it is worthwhile to love, even though that very love may bring you suffering. All of these things David Grayson said to the man who wrote him a letter.
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Not long ago, a young man wrote me a letter and I sensed that life was getting him down. On impulse, I asked him to come and see me. I do not know that it did him any good, but I enjoyed meeting him. I had a deep admiration for the way in which he had met difficulties, and I felt that he and his wife must be a very gallant young couple. I hope that things began to break better for him after he left me, for when you trust life and face it four-square, there should be breaks in the clouds before it gets to be a bitter grind from which all hope has gone.
That is one of the things I dread for the young men back from the war. While away, they dreamed of a land of opportunity where everything would be easy, and they have come back to a land where there may be opportunity but where the mere business of living is made almost intolerably difficult for many of them. Hope must not be allowed to die within them. We, in our communities, are the keepers of that hope.