Friday, August 17, 2007

Ahead of her Time

I took Sophie to ValKill the other day, and once again I was reminded that Eleanor Roosevelt was way a head of her time. For instance, she advocated for affordable and adequate housing. See her work at Arthurdale where she insisted on indoor plumbing and Howard Ickes [yes, the father of Hillary's advisor] said"how would be able to tell the poor from the rich" as if we can see into everyone's home.
She championed respect, human rights, and dignity. (see The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which will be 60 years old next year). She gave people the tools to make a difference, in their lives and the lives of others. She made connections between people.

And she wrote--daily for public readers. If she was alive today, she would be blogging...

When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?
"My Day," February 16, 1946
If we are honest with ourselves today, we will acknowledge that the ideal of Democracy has never failed, but that we haven't carried it out, and in our lack of faith we have debased the human being who must have a chance to live if Democracy is to be successful.
The Moral Basis of Democracy (1940)
A respect for the rights of other people to determine their forms of government and their economy will not weaken our democracy. It will inevitably strengthen it. One of the first things we must get rid of is the idea that democracy is tantamount to capitalism.
Tomorrow Is Now (1963), p.45
The function of democratic living is not to lower standards but to raise those that have been too low.
Tomorrow Is Now (1963), p.59

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