In May, at the annual dinner of the Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota, teacher Suzanne Quinn-McDonald received an award for outstanding service. During her brief remarks she quoted something Eleanor Roosevelt had once said, something I’d not heard: “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
I went home and looked up the quote, and indeed it existed. I found a powerful and extremely simple 46 second YouTube visual about it (turn up the sound!)
A month or two later, the Caribou Coffee I frequent was being refurbished, and about mid-July I was looking at the new wall covering:
I’ve been thinking a lot about that quote as we’ve been watching the Ken Burns multi-hour, multi-day program, “The Roosevelts”, on the local PBS station. (Missed it? For likely a very limited time you can catch it on-line here. There have been four episodes thus far, a fifth this evening, I believe.)
Like most, I imagine, I know fragments about this extraordinary family, particularly Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor.
In a way, they were born with the proverbial “silver spoon” in their mouths, but there the comparison with the idle rich, or with most of us for that matter, ends.
Personally, all of them endured tragedy, some unspeakable. Each had ample opportunities to quit and fall into the category of “average and ordinary”. But for whatever reason (explored in the film) they seem to have done lots of scarey things, rising above their circumstance: polio, family death, betrayal, etc.
Each of them possessed abundant personal gifts, but each pushed their personal envelope, at least once, if not more than once, every day. They appeared to be uncomfortable just staying within their comfort zone!
Whatever your feelings about the Roosevelts, take the time to watch the entire series if at all possible (the DVD is also available).
You won’t regret it.