FEBRUARY 3, 1956
NEW YORK—A very interesting experiment is being made by the Episcopal Church. Last Sunday night I inaugurated at St. Thomas Church here the first talk given by a lay person at the evening service.
I spoke about the United Nations, and apparently the members of the congregation were interested in learning about the kind of work carried on in the U.N. This work, of course, is in many ways the same kind of work churches of all denominations have been carrying on all over the world for many years.
This kind of education on the work of the U.N. is valuable, I think, and I hope it will spread to the churches in many parts of the country.
I also was glad, on going to a public school on last Tuesday morning, to find that some of the young people's assemblies are being devoted to programs on the U.N. These presentations are geared to different ages. I was asked to open one for fifth and sixth graders, and I found them a most intelligent young audience. They asked good questions, and I feel sure that those who follow me and take up the specific things in the U.N. one by one will find these youngsters interested and intelligent.
Learning about the U.N. while they are in school is going to help very much to make our youngsters more intelligent citizens.
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On Wednesday I journeyed to Smith College in Northampton, Mass., to speak for the students who send two youngsters to Asia on scholarships every year.
Some people have asked me whether I thought such undertakings really amounted to anything—this sending of one or two people to the far corners of the earth to try to increase understanding on our part and friendship on the part of the nations they visit.
It is natural to feel that each individual thing we do in small groups amounts to very inconsequential results, but it is the aggregate that makes the difference. As each group does something it adds up to imposing results, and I am pleased to find that more and more universities are recognizing the fact that we need informed young people on situations throughout the world. Thus, sending students for a year to study in the Far East is a new thing but a very valuable undertaking.
While I was in Arizona I happened to notice in an Arizona newspaper a list of some of the bills under consideration in the state legislature and I was interested to find that there is one this year "prohibiting discrimination against persons past 40 years in the matter of employment."
So, even in the Far West, which is a land of youth and opportunity for youth, they are noting the fact that it is necessary to give opportunities to older people as well as younger people.
I was glad to see this recognized, for I have felt that this restriction in opportunities for employment would cause a heavier and heavier burden on the young people. Also, without any question, the anxiety of the older people about getting a job adds to our mental disturbances, which seem to be going up at such a rapid rate in this country.