FEBRUARY 24, 1945
NEW YORK, Friday—I must tell you a little bit more about the children's unity festival which I attended yesterday. I arrived just as a wonderful brown bear was being led on the stage, and the children had the most marvelous time watching him go through his tricks. I was a little nervous at first, but the bear seemed accustomed to flash bulbs, enthusiastic applause and hoots and yells. Finally, three little boys even rode on his back.
If audience participation is a sign of a successful performance, these children participated with an abandon which you rarely see in an adult audience. I was a little sorry when they had to listen to speeches, but they bore with us who had to make a few serious remarks.
I left with a feeling that it would be a memorable day in the lives of these children and that the unity pledge which they had taken would be more meaningful because of the remembrance they would have of the day on which they took it. I am printing that pledge because I think it is one which might also be taken by grown-ups.
"We now join hands with the children of the world. It matters not whether they are black or white, or where they were born, or if they are Jew or Gentile. We do not ask where or how they worship. We ask only that they love freedom and their neighbors. Together we will make an ever-widening circle around a tired, war-torn world, so that our parents may see our friendship and peace and follow our example. For did not the Prophet say: 'A little child shall lead them'?"
The meeting was sponsored by the Citizens Committee of the Upper West Side and I wish similar meetings could be held everywhere throughout this country.
Last night I finished a most charming story called "The Little Prince." It was written and illustrated by Antoine de Saint Exupery, and though you may think it is a child's book, you will find that much of it can be appreciated only by the very mature adult who has never forgotten what it is like to be a child.
Perhaps the wisest saying in the whole book is: "I made him my friend and now he is unique in all the world."
It will not take you long to read, but I think it will give you food for thought and for dreams which may fill empty hours.