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Perspective: Going Ahead Alone Or Going Down Together

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This has been a very American summer, one that has brought out both the very best and very worst in its citizens. It’s also a summer ripe for an opportunity for a rededication to what this country is ideally supposed to stand for.

The following passage is from a speech that captures the spirit of that rededication. It was by a person of incredible strength, compassion and fortitude, and who now ranks in the top five historical figures I deeply admire.

“To deny any part of the population the opportunities for more enjoyment in life, for higher aspirations is a menace to the nation as a whole. There has been too much concentrating of wealth, and even if it means that some of us have got to learn to be a little more unselfish about sharing what we have than we have been in the past, we must realize that it will profit us all in the long run. I think the day of selfishness is over; the day of really working together has come, and we must learn to work together, all of us, regardless of race or creed or color; we must wipe out, wherever we find it, any feeling. . .of intolerance, of belief that any one group can go ahead alone. We go ahead alone or we go down together.”

    --Eleanor Roosevelt, May 11, 1934.

Excerpt from Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume II 1933-1938 by Blanche Wiesen Cook

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