Eleanor Roosevelt has had a different influence on all of us. Some of us have been inspired by her for a while and she has effected our lives. Others are just learning about the value of what she accomplished. Here are some accounts of how she has affected us and some of our peers:
Women get a bad rap for following their hearts. They are seen as the weaker sex partially because of this. I don't follow my heart in the stereotypical way: always relying on males and falling in-love every moment that I have a chance. I do follow my heart though, in that my feelings play a major role in my actions. I have often been self-conscious about this. Then I started learning about Eleanor Roosevelt. Here is a women who truly followed her heart in a non-conventional sense. She opened up her heart, allowing it to lead her wherever people were in need of aid (love). I now see my sensitive side as more positive than negative. Clearly there are times when objective attachment to things is better but generally it leads to me doing good things. I do community service primarily because it pains me to think that everyone has one definite life to live and they might have to live it in suffering. I try to be there for my friends and my family because it pains me to see them hurting.
Eleanor also proved, through her life's successes, that a woman can be successful without pushing other women down. She proved that a woman can make it in this world based on her intellectual merits and her hard work alone. I hope to be successful in business, a male dominated career. I don't want to have to push other women down to be successful. I also hope that my employers will hire me based on my qualifications.
One of the things that I dislike the most a about being in cooed groups is that often one girl will try to monopolize the boys. Sometimes she will even insult or mock the other girls in the group to embarrass her in front of the boys. I am under the impression that in the work force this situation is often even worse. Women will try to undermine each other so that they can rise in position. Eleanor Roosevelt did what she could to help other women rise like her. She proved that a woman can be successful while sharing her power with other women. What makes Eleanor even more impressive is that she was in a situation which could have made her justifiably competitive with other women. Her husband was cheating on her. Nevertheless, she reacted to this with bravery not bitterness. This serves as a reminder to me never to treat other girls as competition, as well as a general reminder to avoid jealousy.
Chava: Eleanor Roosevelt often has inspired me in my life. As a young girl, my parents read me a story abouat this dynamic woman, leaving my bedside with the message that I could do anything, I could be anyone. The fact that she wasn't outwardly beautiful but had a great deal of beauty within, made her an ideal role model. Unsure of herself, but willing to do the work she believed needed to be done, speaking for those with no voices, inspiring millions, this was someone I could certainly admire. She always spoke up for what she believed in, and no matter what her detractors said about her, no matter how rude or sniveling or low, Eleanor rose above it. She refused to silence herself to save her self image. Often times I am faced with situations where speaking up for myself and / or others is unpopular and opens me up to ridicule. But Eleanor has proven to me that it is far better to push for what you believe in than it is to stand by silently. Silence is only a passive form of acceptance. Mrs. Roosevelt never chose silence.
Other than her ability to ignore the comments telling her to keep her ideas to herself, she redefined the role of a woman. Perhaps the most public female of her time, Mrs. Roosevelt was never content to be the housewife she always expected to be. She was willing to go beyond social norms, to move outside the societal boundaries in order to achieve her goals. It didn't matter what she was advocating, it was the fact that she was a WOMAN becoming active in politics that threatened many males. A strong woman still threatens males, but thanks to Eleanor's influence, many more women, myself included, are more comfortable threatening them. Her influence is immeasurable on myself, and I strive to be as good a person as she was.
I am not much of a "history person." In fact, if you had asked me who Eleanor Roosevelt was before this project I wouldn't have known the answer. Now that I have become involved in this project, I have started to realize how important the people who have helped society progress are. People like Eleanor Roosevelt. She has made it possible for women to hold positions of power and to make a difference. She also believed in committing her time to service. She didn't send money for relief or send someone off to take care of people who needed help. Instead she went herself. She went to visit troops who had been injured in the war, even if they were so injured that it was painful to look at or be around them. She went to visit people in Africa, and to visit troops who were stationed in other countries.
Since she was young, she had been going to help people in need. She went to homeless shelters and soup kitchens. She had been doing these things because she wanted to help people, not because she wanted to portray a certain image. I can see different parallels between her life when she was my age and mine. In the job that I have now, I work in homeless shelters and I work on a farm which grows organic food for the homeless shelters. We also go out into the communities of Boston where we have some of our community gardens. There we talk to the neighbors as well as other community outreach activities. This connects to the way that she felt that it was important to personally visit the people that she wanted to help. Now that I see how some of what she has done is similar to things that I know that she will continue to provide inspiration for me.
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