“To me religion has nothing to do with any specific creed or dogma. It means that belief and that faith in the heart of a man which makes him try to live his life according to the highest standard which he is able to visualize. To those of us who were brought up as Christians that standard is the life of Christ, and it matters very little whether our creed is Catholic or Protestant.” — Eleanor Roosevelt, from an article entitled “What Religion Means To Me”, 1932
It’s a remarkable statement, both for the time and for a woman of Eleanor Roosevelt’s social class and upbringing. She was raised in a fairly strict religious household, but her vision was bigger than her raising and her vision gave her more tolerance of people outside of what she knew.
Mrs. Roosevelt was one of those people who gave selflessly of herself again and again, and passionately believed that all of us have contributions to make to better the lives of others. She had faith that the human race could become better than what it is. She still held these beliefs and had this kind of faith after nursing her polio disabled husband back to health, watching her poverty stricken countrymen survive the Great Depression, witnessing the horrors of a World War, and throughout her fight for equality for women and for races other than her own, even when many of the outcomes of these life altering events were disappointing. She still had faith.
She was a remarkable woman for a remarkable time and perhaps we can take a page from her book.