Posted by: Admin | June 23, 2011

Thoughts on growing older – Eleanor Roosevelt

First Lady to US President, Franklin D., Eleanor Roosevelt had this observation to make about mid-life:

Probably the happiest period in life most frequently is in middle age, when the eager passions of youth are cooled, and the infirmities of age not yet begun; as we see that the shadows, which are at morning and evening so large, almost entirely disappear at midday.

image of Eleanor Roosevelt taken from udhr.org

Whilst well-loved as the President’s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt was an effective human rights activist and played a major role in drafting the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. She saw her role on the commission as an advocate for the “common man and woman” – you can read more about her here.

This is her own summation of her philosophy:

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

Was there ever a better role model for living a useful life over fifty?

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