The More Things Change, The More Things Stay The Same....
On January 1, 1938 Eleanor Roosevelt wrote this for her "My Day" newspaper column:
FARGO, N.D., Dec. 31—An evening for jollification, for gathering of friends and relatives—New Year's Eve. Just at midnight we'll toast the New Year. Perhaps we'll sing a verse of "Auld Lang Syne," and then what?
I seem to remember when one made resolutions for the new year. Do you? That required some review of the Old Year. I wonder, if we sat down to interview this ancient, what he would have to say to us?
The conversation might run along like this:
"Old Year, have we anything to be thankful for?"
"Surely you looked about the world? You are at peace, aren't you? I've known something they call a business recession during the last few months, and some folks are much worried. But they still seem to eat three meals a day. A great many people who are dependent on the worriers aren't faring as well, but still there is a feeling of hope in the land and that is something to be thankful for."
"Old Year, if we're beginning again, what resolutions would you want us to make?"
"I'd want you to resolve to keep your hopes. But add to your resolve self-sacrifice, a determination to work hard, not always for personal gain. Above all, to preserve a sense of humor and of proportion in the business of living."
This conversation behind us, we'd turn to meet the baby New Year. We'd give him our hand, our promise to cooperate, and each one of us would start out to discover the first step in fulfillment of that promise.
A few of us might take to heart a paragraph I found in a magazine editorial. It reads: "Our wealthy citizens paid the relief bill. They furnished the `wherewiths' necessary to keep people from suffering. They were the donors of the [unclear term marked] on those occasions."
If this were a continued custom, how happy we would be. Taxes could come down, the budget would be balanced. Dear Mr. Writer, the New Year would be perfect.
As a practical woman, however, this seems to me to be putting a huge burden on a comparatively small number of individuals. This New Year business is up to all of us.
Suppose we resolve to do whatever we do with the best that is in us, to consider the other fellow's job as well as our own and to ask for a fair deal all around, with special privileges to none. The baby New Year might not understand, at first, just what he was getting. But the results would soon be apparent, so we could go to bed on New Year's Eve, sleep dreamlessly, and awake to say with truth to all and sundry, "A happy New Year to you. The world is a new world today."
(Copyright, 1938, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)