Recently, Pew Research asked thousands of Americans where they find meaning in life.  Instead of presenting group responses, they highlighted the wonderful responses and stories from the world of the individual person.  It reminded me that:

The world of the individual personEverything of value and meaning is close to us.

One step and one person won’t change the world alone, but every action or change (no matter how tiny) creates the opportunity for more of the same and it opens the door for others to join in…

The world is in our hands.  The responsibility can be daunting, but rarely beyond our grasp…

It also reminded me that while so much of the world has changed, somethings never will — especially our individual need to take action, whomever we are and wherever we live. Eleanor Roosevelt spoke to this 60 years ago in regards to human rights, but it applies equally to anything we value in our lives and in our communities.

If we, in our world of the individual person, seek participation and responsibility we tend to find meaning in life …

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 map 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.

~~ Eleanor Roosevelt, March 27, 1958, remarks at the United Nations


Anna Eleanor Roosevelt
(1884 – 1962)

First Lady of United States (1933-1945),
wife, mother, grandmother
prolific writer, columnist, author,
human rights activist,
United Nations Delegate,
First Lady of New York


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