January 2, 1951

“HYDE PARK, Monday—I have just had an amusing, anonymous letter, and I am going to reproduce it here because I think it is a good note on which to start the New Year. My correspondent writes:

“My dear Mrs. Roosevelt: Don’t you think it is a mistake to refer to yourself as a very old lady? How do you think a person eighty years old reacts? The impression is a poor one. One does not think of you in any age bracket, but as a self-disciplined woman…so please in the future forget your age and just be yourself. No need to sign this. My answer will come if in your talks you just speak as Eleanor Roosevelt—the Invincible. Thank you.”

I want to thank this anonymous correspondent because it had never occurred to me that it would be discouraging to anybody when I said I was a very old lady. I realize there are many older people. Perhaps, therefore, my correspondent is right, and I will heed this warning. I wish I were “invincible.” That means you have no weak moments, but I am afraid there are very few of us these days who don’t occasionally have them.”

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