In honor of Presidents' Day, I would like to provide an excerpt written many years ago from a wise man, but more than applicable and in dire need of use in this day and age.
"America can not refuse the challenge of leadership in the post-war world. Mere physical reconstruction of ravaged countries and the reorganization of political, economic, and social systems is the lesser task we will face. The larger problem and the great challenge is in how to set up a new order of world ethics firmly established on a foundation of democratic idealism.
Experts in various fields have already submitted programs designed to meet the needs of those nations whose way of life has been disrupted by war. But with the failing common to specially trained minds, these planners incline to think mostly in terms of their own particular interests. As yet, no one has touched the fundamentals of international ethics. No one has advanced a working plan securely based upon a broad, deep, and sympathetic understanding of the human being and his problems. The thinking has been in the dual fields of power politics and material economics, with remedies expressed in terms of charts, blueprints, patterns, and industrial programs.
But there is one new and encouraging element present in most of the recommendations of today's experts. They are recognizing the necessity of conceiving the world as one interdependent structure. Yet even as they recognize the need for a unity of human interests, their recommendations are for the perpetuation of highly competitive economic policies, which, if they are consistently applied, must lead in the end to war and discord.
It is not an easy task to unite the efforts of the human race toward the accomplishment of any common good. Mankind in the majority is selfish, provincial in attitude, and concerned primarily with personal success and acquiring creature comforts. It will not be possible to build an enduring peace until the average man has been convinced that personal selfishness is detrimental to personal happiness and personal success. It must be shown that self-seeking has gone out of fashion, and that the world is moving on to a larger conception of living.
The postwar planners have more of idealism in their programs than has ever before been expressed in the problem of the relationships of nations. But it is still not enough. A clear and complete statement of a world purpose is required--a world dream great enough to inspire unity of world effort.
These are the days of America's opportunity to lead a still troubled mankind toward a better way of life. If we meet this challenge, we will insure not only survival of our nation for centuries to come, but we shall gain the enduring gratitude of our fellowmen and Americans will be remembered to the end of time as a great enlightened people.
It is not enough that we solve particular problems. We must solve the very cause of problem itself. Wars, depressions, crime, dictators and their oppressions are the symptoms giving clear indication of a greater ailment. To examine each problem solely in terms of the problem itself, without recognition of its true relationship to a larger and more universal necessity, is to fail in the broader implications of an enduring peace and prosperity."
Manly P. Hall The Secret Destiny of America (1944)
Until next time, open arms and open minds.
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