JULY 18, 1945
NEW YORK, Tuesday—I have just received a pamphlet called "An Editor's Notebook", which is published by the Los Angeles Daily News. It includes some comments by the editor, Mr. Manchester Boddy, on the San Francisco Conference.
Stressing the fact that man's knowledge of science has outrun his moral and spiritual development, he expresses very well one of the things that all of us need to consider. I am interested in his contention that war actually is destroyed as an institution because of the development of science, but that all the forces which bring about war and which must be controlled in human beings are still rampant throughout the world, because they are moral and spiritual forces. Mr. Boddy suggests that we get together all the forces that we know are good and start developing them—which is good advice, but hard to make people do.
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The pamphlet's second little article, called "The Sunnyvale Plan", which was written by a member of the staff of the newspaper, presents an idea which perhaps might be developed not only for increased knowledge of the San Francisco Charter, but for the development of moral and spiritual responsibility in the individual. Sunnyvale is only a little community of 5,000 people, 40 miles from San Francisco, but they organized to learn about the Charter and, through organization, they hope they will have some effect upon their representative in Congress.
Why shouldn't we organize in our communities in just the same way to educate people to what are the good and bad things developing in our community? Some people never stop to think about it. Some people, if they did think about it, might think that they had no responsibility to do anything about it. But they have.
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Through organization and leadership, many people might learn about situations, and their responsibilities in connection with them, which have been a closed book to them in the past. This would lead to better local citizenship, which would spread to interest in state and national citizenship. It would also mean a development in individual character and a sense of mutual interdependence among the people of the community—which would be very helpful.
I have just been asked to join the Dutchess Country (N.Y.) Social Planning Council, and I've joined without a moment's hesitation. This may be the agency for us in this country which will develop the kind of personal responsibility which it seems to me we must have in our communities if we expect to build peace in the world.