Understanding January 1984
In the speech which President Reagan gave in preparation for the meeting of U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz, and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, he repeatedly stressed the vital need for a greater degree of International Understanding. Some parts of his address sounded a little as though they might have been taken from the founding document of the Understanding organization, written in 1954, some thirty years ago.
In searching for a subject for this newsletter of January 1984, we could find no more appropriate one than the very first editorial printed in the first issue of Understanding Magazine, in January of 1956, but whose importance, it seems, is just beginning to be understood by those in high places, some 28 years later
“The greatest wealth that can be acquired by man is a complete understanding.” – A-Ian
Many articles are written, and many orations delivered each week, which have as their subject the present-day needs of this nation, and of the world. The needs listed are fully as numerous as those who list them, yet each writer and each lecturer seems to feel that the needs which he points out are the critical needs, the needs that will determine whether our nation or civilization itself will stand or fall.
Concerning this country, many writers appear to believe that what we need most at the present time, are more and better weapons: defensive weapons to protect ourselves against attack, and offensive weapons to retaliate if an attack should come. Unfortunately, under present conditions, there is a certain amount of logic to be found in this argument, and there are several millions of persons in this country whose principal occupation is the filling of this need. However, it is by no means a basic need, but only a dangerous symptom of a greater need which existed before it.
With regard to the world at large, many authorities believe that the greatest need is to raise the production of all farms and industries until all hunger and want will vanish from the earth. This is indeed a consumation devoutly to be wished, but before there can be any possibility of its achievement, there is again a prior need which must be met.
It is the purpose of this editorial to point out that what the world needs most today, and what the world has always needed most is simple and total understanding between man and his fellowman, between race and race, between State and State, and between all men and that greater power and intelligence which pervades and controls all nature and which is usually referred to as God.
Our philosophers and spiritual leaders have often told us that we must learn to love our fellowmen, but we are not told how to go about it. Unfortunately, love, in any form, is an emotion that is not subject to the will. No person can love another person simply because they are advised, or even commanded to do so. Understanding is a prerequisite to love, toleration, and cooperation, and it has the further quality that hate and fear cannot long exist in its presence. It inevitably brings to mankind the realization that, “he best helps himself, who helps his neighbor.”
It is because we feel that the lack of understanding is man’s greatest poverty, that we have dedicated this organization to the task of stimulating the flow of understanding between all of the peoples of the earth, at any cost to our own bias, pride or egos.
Daniel W. Fry
(signed) Daniel W. Fry
Jan. 18, 1984
We do deeply regret being late with Jan. 84 Newsletter!
Until we master the art of being bodily in two places at one time, we can do it no other way.
At 11:15 P.M. Sun 1/8/84 we got the last items out of the house we sold; in bed midnight, up 5 A.M. 1/9/84 to soon leave for the L-O-N-G seemingly endless 10 hour drive to Phoenix, Az. The trip was made necessary by damage to the only property owned by Understanding, Inc. The next 5 days were spent with 2 insurance companies, bankers, estimates, and a 110 mile rd. trip out to the property to SEE for ourselves the claims made and to photograph same.
To those unacquainted with Phoenix, it is a city widely spread over a 40 mile area. Every person we needed to see was never less than 10 – 12 – 18 miles away, plus return trip to motel.
Unfortunately, we will have to return to Phoenix at a later time to personally SEE the work done.
These trips are quite costly, – GAS, FOOD, & LODGING. Esp. lodging – & esp. now – as it’s the “winter season,” in Phoenix. None of this can be called a pleasure! It’s HARD WORK.
Then the long trip home! One returns far too weary to begin a newsletter – or to answer the many letters awaiting replies. — Please be patient with me. I will answer each letter fully inc. your questions and requests.
It is never too late to wish you a blessed NEW year, plus a thought, a wish, a prayer that God keep YOU always in His care. We cherish every member of our Understanding family – and – as no 2 snowflakes are alike, there is no one quite like YOU!
You are the dedicated person we need on our team and we know that, with your help we CAN keep winning the fight for Peace, safety and security. The years may change a lot of things, but never the pride or joy that comes from having members like you! – We thank you for the abundant outpouring of love for us at Christmas-time and for your prayers and support – AND – for just being YOU!
(signed) Cleona Q. Fry
Treasurer, P.O. Box 614
Alamogordo New Mexico 88311