JULY 23, 1943
CHICAGO, Thursday—For nearly twenty hours I have been flying across the United States. We have had some delays, but to me it is always a wonderful trip. Last evening, just at sunset, the sky and land seemed suddenly to merge until I could no longer tell which was which. There was a little lake that the sun turned ruby red and a little beyond a much larger lake, with little wooded islands.
It was truly an earthly paradise. Then gradually, everything faded before my eyes and only a steel grey sky remained, cold and grim, and night was closing in. It seemed to typify what most of us are living through today. We try to hold before us the vision of a world to which we hope our loved ones will return.
A world in which there will be justice and, therefore, we may hope for peace. A world in which people of faiths and races will live as brothers and welcome each other's presence upon the earth, believing that the Creator made us different, but still equal in His sight. A world in which we will seek together to eliminate want from the lives of human beings, so that in truth there shall no longer be slaves on this earth.
This is the only vision which can make the world's suffering bearable, and sometimes it seems to fade into the grey of night and leave us cold and desperate. Then only the words of great leaders can restore the vision and give us the heart to work for it again. So my plea is that those who have the gift of words, use them in these days to give the people hope by which to live and dream, for without the vision we shall perish.
I was reading an article about an industrialist who believes in paying his workers well, for his theory seems to be that wealth for us all lies in greater production at lower cost. He believes his workmen are the ones who can lower costs, so he pays them for doing so. It seems sensible, if his theory is correct. It seems to work for him, anyway, and his workers own 30 percent of the business, which must add considerably to their incentive.
A letter came to me the other day telling of the work which the Boys Club of America has undertaken this summer. There are about 240 of these clubs, most of them located in congested city areas. They have gone in for food production in a big way. They work in cities, but even better, they go out under supervision to nearby farms. Here the benefit has been great to the boys as well as the farmer.
Now that I am back in the East, it is hard to believe that I thought we were not having warm enough weather in Seattle. I am sure that I am going to enjoy swimming here more than I did in Lake Washington. I am afraid I have been too long away from the shores of Maine really to enjoy very cold water. No matter how much I love every other part of my country, I am always glad to get home to the particular spot I call home.