As history teaches us throughout the ages, there are a few exceptional individuals within each generation of human beings born in this world.
One of these, for me at least, is that of the extraordinary Eleanor Roosevelt. She changed how we looked at the 1st Lady in America. In particular, the consensus moving forward among the American people was that a good 1st Lady needed to be a caring, knowledgeable, and well-educated woman.
What inspired me to write this post was this documentary.
Eleanor Roosevelt grew up with harsh beginnings. Her mother died when Eleanor was 8 years old, but the few years Eleanor really had a chance to bond with her mother, her mother was very critical of her. She was displeased with the fact that Eleanor wasn’t a “natural beauty.” She feared that Eleanor wouldn’t amount to anything to make it into high-society as a socialite. So, of course, Eleanor, as a child, was affected immensely by her mother’s words.
Eleanor was also changed by her father’s alcoholism.
She absolutely adored her father. Even if her father was a very horrible drinker, he provided Eleanor a sense of security and love. He was attentive to her whenever he would come and visit the family after his many business trips around America and worldwide. He even promised Eleanor that one day he would take her to see all of the wonders of the world (including the Taj Mahal, among other prominent global locations).
Unfortunately, he was never around in Eleanor’s life for long, so his promises were broken promises.
But Eleanor, against all the odds in her life, became an astounding young lady. Thanks to her formal education, she grew into a mighty young political woman.
Eleanor was an activist at a very young age for civil rights and also for worker’s rights. In fact, signs of her future activism show in her teen years, when she would volunteer to help the less fortunate in New York City.
Something about her work ethic has always inspired me to some degree throughout my life as well. It never fails to amaze me how much energy that woman had in her time living on Earth. In addition, she was incredibly well-learned about society. She knew what she was talking about at social events, especially during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s (FDR’s) presidency.
I admire most her ability to connect with other human beings so naturally and effortlessly.
Admittedly, Eleanor Roosevelt was shy as a little girl. But as she grew older and more mature, she became more confident as a young woman who knew what she wanted to do in life. She had a passion for helping those who were less fortunate, and I admire that the most in her as a human being.
It’s fascinating to know just how much Eleanor did during FDR’s presidency. She had wholly redefined what it meant to be the 1st Lady. Eleanor also proved to the world that anyone willing and determined enough could achieve anything, no matter their race, gender, or creed.
Even though Eleanor Roosevelt is a part of America’s history, I still feel she is with us in her presence.
The examples she set forth by her actions only further this feeling more; as it becomes more and more apparent that America is faced with dark times. In fact, very similar to when FDR became President (FDR became President of the United States in 1933). There’s an absolute sense of dread in America’s future. It feels as though the days are becoming darker and darker with each passing hour.
But that’s another reason why I admire Eleanor Roosevelt. She had this undeniable tack to make things happen one way or another.
She never gave up, and she always tried her best to prove wrong her detractors and naysayers.
Eleanor Roosevelt was confident even when she wasn’t particularly sure what the outcome of her actions would be at times. She spent a lot of her time helping people in some way or form. Eleanor hardly ever rested, especially since Eleanor and FDR had many children. She was constantly moving and doing things, never taking the time to properly rest. And in her case, many historians believe that was a good decision on her part.
Because the truth is: Eleanor Roosevelt was suspected of having suffered from severe depression throughout her life.
Eleanor had a habit of steadily slipping away down the rabbit hole of dark thoughts and feelings if she didn’t keep herself occupied and busy. Whether writing letters to people that sent her personal notes or just helping FDR in some capacity, Eleanor felt the need to stay active at all times.
Unfortunately, while she was putting away FDR’s clothes after a particular trip he returned from, Eleanor discovered her husband was having an affair. The affair was with one of his assistants.
Again though, Eleanor never let life’s hardships and obstacles get in her way for too long. Instead, she always found a way around such nuisances and novelties. This kind of iron-willpower is incredibly inspiring to me. In recent days, I often find myself gathering strength from the simple fact that Eleanor had accomplished so much in her not-so-glamorous but an undoubtedly fantastic life.
Not only did she accomplish a lot for women in general in the political and social spheres of American life, but she also inspired a whole generation. How so? Eleanor inspired many young people to go after their dreams no matter the adversity they faced in their lives. Eleanor Roosevelt will always hold a special place in my heart, and I’ll never forget what I’ve learned through history.
Eleanor Roosevelt is not only one of the most remarkable women of all time, but she is also one of the most amazing human beings in history.
Forever in Your Debt,
Leon R.M. Auguste