From Eleanor…

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself –  Eleanor Roosevelt

I have sure made my share of mistakes but haven’t we all? Sometimes I don’t but I like to believe that I learn from my mistakes and try not to make them again. But some mistakes creep up on me and I stubbornly refuse to admit that they are mistakes at all.  Instead I blame them on circumstance or outside factors or just plain dumb luck.  Let’s admit it, no one likes to admit mistakes.

Eleanor Roosevelt was as most of us know the wife of our 32nd president. Franklin Roosevelt, FDR as he was common called, was the only president to serve three terms in office. Well almost three, he died in office before the end of his third term. He was president during World War II. The conservatives around today absolutely hate him as he was the president to start many “liberal” things such as Social Security, the minimum wage and other humanitarian stuff. He died in office just before the end of the war.

But I am getting off track here, Eleanor his wife was a very unique First Lady. She, unlike many women in her day, had much to say about many things. Eleanor had a somewhat contentious relationship with her husband. Here is what Wikipedia says about that:

Despite its happy start and Roosevelt’s intense desire to be a loving and loved wife, their marriage almost disintegrated over Franklin’s affair with his wife’s social secretary Lucy Mercer (later Lucy Mercer Rutherfurd). When Eleanor learned of the affair from Mercer’s letters, which she discovered in Franklin’s suitcases in September 1918, she was brought to despair and self-reproach. She told Franklin she would insist on a divorce if he did not immediately end the affair. He knew that a divorce would not reflect well on his family, so he ended the relationship….

Although the marriage survived, Eleanor emerged a different woman, coming to the realization that she could achieve fulfillment only through her own influence…

And indeed she did achieve fulfillment through her own influence.  She was probably the most active First Lady in our nation’s existence and stayed active  for years after her husband’s death.

Getting back to the quote at hand. We all need to learn from others mistakes. But that doesn’t seem to be happening much anymore especially in the political sphere. Those guys in Washington seem to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. This brings up another quote from one of my heroes Albert Einstein:

insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

But that is a topic for another post…

3 thoughts on “From Eleanor…

  • Eleanor was a great woman. I really believe that she was in charge for the final months before FDR passed. There is a wonderful statue of her in the FDR garden in Washington DC.
    As far as making mistakes- I’ve made a lot of them- some more than once. I like the idea of learning from other’s mistakes- but it just doesn’t seep in until I do it myself.


  • Yep, you are right Life Quotes. But sometimes she is in front of him too. I’m not that great but I do have a great woman behind me. She is the best back seat driver I know 😉

    Janette, it seems we are pretty much the same in regards to this post. I read a rather long books years ago about the Roosevelts and you are right the last year in office Eleanor made a lot of the decisions. I think the ineptitude of FDR that last year was one of the reasons we finally got term limits in the White House. Now if we could do the same thing for those guys in the Capital Building….


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