Why do people love you?

When Eleanor Roosevelt died, the United Nations held a memorial service, and representatives from 110 countries stood for a minute of silent tribute. The New York Times pronounced this remarkable woman “one of the great ladies in the history of the country.”

However, Roosevelt, the only daughter of an alcoholic father and a beautiful, aloof mother who was disappointed by her child’s lack of a pretty face, suffered from insecurity her entire life.

In his book Franklin & Lucy—President Roosevelt, Mrs. Rutherford and the Other Remarkable Women in His Life, Joseph Persico tells about a phone call that Roosevelt received from an old acquaintance.

“She wants something,” Roosevelt told her secretary, telling her that she didn’t want to answer the call.

“But Mrs. Roosevelt,” Maureen Corr said, “don’t you think people love you for yourself?”

“No, dear,” Roosevelt answered. “I don’t.”

When I read about Eleanor Roosevelt, I thought about my own insecurities. Sometimes I, too, wonder if people really like me for myself. Next time I have those doubts, I’m going to remember that they may be based on my insecurities.


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