THE DIFFERENCE ONE LIFE CAN MAKE
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT –THE WOMAN THAT REDEFINED BEAUTY TO THE WORLD; THE UNFADING BEAUTY OF THE SOUL.
“Caring comes from being able to put yourself in the position of the other person. If you cannot imagine ‘This might happen to me,’ you are able to say to yourself with indifference, ‘Who cares?’”
- ELEANOR ROOSEVELT
Are you in an agony of self-loathe? Do you feel that you are not physically attractive enough? Is there any part of the physical appearance you desperately wish or want to change? Do you think you don’t measure up in your looks? Have you ever been ridiculed and despised because of your physical appearance?
Do you give your focus, attention, energy, and finances trying to cover up a “defect” you think you have in your physical features just to look glamorously beautiful while neglecting the development of the heart qualities which matter most in life? Do you nurture and nourish the body to “perfection” while giving no thought to the nurturing and nourishing of the soul?
Perfecting your looks or developing and perfecting excellent heart qualities which of them do you value more and focus your attention on? Physical attractiveness is only a matter of perception. Excellent heart qualities are a product of an impression that expresses your value to the world.
Let Eleanor Roosevelt’s life story teach us how to redefine beauty and beautify lives through the unfading beauty of the soul that has inspired generations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor_Roosevelt
Eleanor was born into a privileged background. Though she lacked nothing during her childhood she was made to feel that she didn’t measure up in terms of her physical appearance by her mother.
In her words, “My mother was troubled by my lack of beauty and I know it as a child senses these things. She tried to bring me up well so that my manners would compensate for my looks but her efforts only made me more keenly conscious of my shortcomings. I was deeply ashamed …I felt as only a young girl can feel it, all the pain of being an ugly duckling.”
In contrast, Eleanor Roosevelt’s father though he was an alcoholic loved his daughter with all his heart.
Eleanor Roosevelt revealed, “My father would pick me up and hold me high in the air. He dominated my life as long as he lived, and was the love of my life for many years after he died. With my father, I was perfectly happy.”
Eleanor’s mother died when she was eight of diphtheria while her father died from his alcoholism when she was less than ten.
Accept yourself the way you are. Accept others the way they are. Never despise or ridicule the physical appearance of another. Actually, we did not create ourselves to determine our physical features, so we cannot take credit for the attractiveness of our physical features or feel dissatisfied with the way we look.
Our Creator never makes a mistake. We are the way we are because of why we are. Each of us has a unique personality that enables us to fulfill our unique purpose on earth.
Yes! You should take care of your physical appearance and look your best always but never dwell on your physical appearance as your life focus and never go through each day in the consciousness of how you look outwardly. Look your best and then get your mind off your looks and look for ways to add value to your life and also the lives of others.
Physical beauty or attractiveness has no real gain unless we develop the virtues of sound moral character and make a difference in the lives of others. It is the beauty of the soul that will outlive us and echo through eternity.
When your soul is attractive your personality becomes attractive too. Frankly, nobody has an ugly physical appearance – you are beautiful, you are handsome as it were.
Yes! Some people may look more appealing in their physical appearance at sight. But it is merely an “appearance” and subject to perception. However, it is the quality of the soul that really make an individual attractive or repelling up close.
THE CHILDHOOD IMPRESSION
Eleanor Roosevelt’s father, Elliot Roosevelt made an indelible impression on the life of his daughter during the brief period of time he spent with her. Though he came from a “well-to-do” background, he exposed his daughter to see firsthand the sufferings of others who were less fortunate than them and he taught his daughter to serve those in need.
According to Eleanor Roosevelt, “Very early I became conscious of the fact that there were people around me who suffered in one way or another. I was five or six when my father took me to serve Thanksgiving dinner in one of the newsboys’ clubhouses. My father explained that many of these ragged little boys had no homes and lived in little wooden shanties in empty lots, or slept in vestibules of houses or public buildings or any place where they could be moderately warm.”
From then on Eleanor’s heart for service was impressed and expressed in practical ways to meet the needs of people – adding value to lives. A lifestyle and a lifetime of contribution were birthed.
What really counts is not what you leave for your children but rather what you leave in your children. Parenting is a call to love your children unconditionally and teach them through example, values that will make a difference in their lives and also how to make a difference in the lives of others.
THE BEGINNING OF A LIFE OF SERVICE
As a teenager, Eleanor Roosevelt began serving by teaching in the slums of New York. Later on, she sought to improve the working condition of people who labored in government factories and department stores by joining an advocacy group called the Consumers League.
At the time she became the mother of five – she worked two to three shifts a week in a Red Cross canteen and from 1927 until she became America’s first lady in 1932, she taught school in Manhattan.
Service is the pathway to greatness rather than status. You are not great because of your status in society and the number of people who serve you but rather greatness is measured by the number of people you serve.
Status is a cheap life; service is a priceless life and it is only the truly great that can truly serve and only those who serve can become great.
FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT’S BACKBONE
Eleanor Roosevelt was married to Franklin Roosevelt. Eleanor was Franklin’s backbone in his political career as she kept her husband in the public eye by substituting for him and giving speeches to different groups. Franklin was unable to do so due to his paralyzed leg from polio which he had contracted in 1922.
Franklin Roosevelt was elected Governor of New York in 1928 and in 1932 he was elected President of the United States. Franklin Roosevelt through fortitude set an example for the country by “walking” roughly forty paces to the inaugural platform to take his oath of office on March 4, 1933.
A fulfilling marriage is one in which a man and a woman come together in a union with the major purpose of unselfishly helping each other fulfill or maximize destiny together.
A fulfilling marriage is one in which two givers and two forgivers make a committed decision to share their lives together NOT OUT OF DEPENDENT NECESSITY but rather from an interdependent reality.
Any marriage with two takers coming together in a union will eventually fall apart either emotionally or physically if the individuals do not change.
Any marriage comprising of one giver and one taker coming together in a union will never be a fulfilling one unless there is a change – the one doing the giving is the one “keeping” the marriage, however, he or she is enduring the marriage rather than enjoying it. Hence, he or she is carrying the weight of making it work. It may give an appearance that it is working since both are still married but it can never truly work effectively because making marriage work effectively is the responsibility of two individuals rather than one person.
A giver is one whose actions are based on love. A taker is one whose actions are rooted in selfishness.
A fulfilling marriage is a product of each partner giving the value the other cannot do without. And that value is to help each other to fully maximize destiny. Until both the husband and wife unselfishly help each other to fully maximize destiny, they may stay together but both will never be fulfilled together.
Marriage is a “domain” for service, where two givers continually serve each other without keeping score or expecting anything in return. It is where two forgivers continually forgive each other without keeping a record of wrongs.
However, marriage is vital when two individuals are committed to daily self-improvement to become better in every way and every day. Remember, the greatest gift you can give to another is your self-development.
Honor is the code that unlocks the vault of treasures of a fulfilling marriage –which makes marriage an unforgettable experience every day. When husband and wife honor each other, they gain access to the vault of treasures that only the honor code can unlock.
AMERICA’S FIRST LADY WITH A DIFFERENCE.
As America’s first lady, she blazed the trail by deviating from the usual role of strictly ceremonial duties by identifying with issues firsthand as she learned about the plight of the poor, not by reading or hearing about it but by actually going out and meeting people who were struggling. She wanted to understand their problems up close as America was experiencing the great depression then.
Eleanor Roosevelt was the eyes and ears of Franklin Roosevelt. Yes! Franklin Roosevelt was the President but Eleanor was the one whom the people saw trying to understand their problems. She traveled extensively around the country and reported back to her husband – the President on what she was seeing.
She revealed, “If I remain in the White House all the time I would lose touch with the rest of the world…I would begin to think that my life in Washington was representative of the rest of the country and that is a dangerous point of view.”
Eleanor didn’t just report the conditions she saw first hand but she added her own strong opinions and feelings.
Eleanor opens up, “ Franklin might have been happier with a wife who was completely uncritical. That I was never able to be…I think I sometimes acted as a spur, even though the spurring was not always wanted or welcomed.”
Eleanor Roosevelt had a great influence so a poll showed her popularity was equal to that of her husband after his first year in office.
The purpose of power is to do good and change lives. Power does not corrupt. A corrupt individual uses power to perpetuate evil. A good man or woman uses power for good – to change lives. Power only reveals the content of the heart.
Eleanor Roosevelt right before she got into power had dedicated her life to doing good, when she got into power by becoming America’s first lady it was a golden opportunity to enlarge her capacity for doing good and thereby influencing a greater number of lives.
Therefore, power does not determine an individual but rather power reveals an individual.
“Eleanor Roosevelt moved with ease and grace among royalty, heads of state, and the social elite; she moved with awareness and empathy among the hungry, the injured, and the homeless. Then she took steps to alleviate their situations. Without regard for race, color, nationality, sex, religion, economic status, or creed, she fulfilled her lifetime purpose: to improve the lot of humankind.”
- EILEEN MORAY.
During World War II Roosevelt visited London in October 1942, she traveled to Bora, Somoa, and Guadalcanal visiting the troops at U.S. military bases and the wounded in their hospitals.
Admiral William F. Hasley wrote that among other things, in twelve hours she inspected two navy hospitals and an army hospital.
“When I say that she visited and inspected those hospitals, I don’t mean that she shook hands with the chief medical officer, glanced into a sun parlor, and left. I mean that she went to every ward, stopped at every bed, and spoke to every patient: What was his name? How did he feel? Was there anything he needed? Could she take a message home for him?
“I marvel at her hardihood, both physical and mental; she walked for miles, and she saw patients who were grievously wounded. But I marveled most at their expressions as she leaned over them. It was a sight I will never forget”
- ADMIRAL WILLIAM F. HASLEY.
“One of the most remarkable qualities I remember was her ability to listen, to draw others out, and extend an invitation for them to talk about things that really mattered to them. She did this with everyone from heads of state, to friends, family members, and most certainly her grandchildren. We were all made to feel important – no concern was too trivial, no point of view too childish or insignificant.”
- DAVID B. ROOSEVELT (ELEANOR ROOSEVELT’S GRANDSON)
BEYOND POSITION OF POWER – A LIFETIME OF DEDICATED SERVICE
Franklin Roosevelt died while still President on April 12, 1945. Eleanor Roosevelt had become the most famous and admired woman in the world. However, she did not deem it fit recline in complacency having secured her place in history but rather dedicated the rest of her life to contributing to the world.
During the last seventeen years of her life after her husband’s death, Eleanor dedicated herself to preventing future wars which yielded successful results. She kept working until her death in 1962 at age seventy-eight.
“I did not want to cease trying to be useful in some way, I did not want to feel old – and I seldom have.”
THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU
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About the Author
Udeme Archibong is a prolific writer, an astute communicator and a model of excellence. Her writings have made profound impact on thousands of lives around the world through her blog: successrecipeblog.com, which has followings in over 70 countries in continents of the world.
She is a Self-Development Expert, who passionately works towards helping people maximize their destinies.
At some point, she was a motivational columnist, writing Success Recipe and Destiny Catalyst, for two Nigerian national newspapers, Vanguard and ThisDay, respectively. She is the initiator of the Revolution Series Seminars