Understanding March 1984
Once again, the people of the United States are in the throes of a national election. Once in each four year period we come face to face with the vital task of choosing a group of leaders to pilot our ship of state through the perilous seas of political intrigue, military domination and economic disaster. Since this is a task of great importance to everyone, we should begin by establishing firmly in our minds, certain fundamental facts as a guide to our choice. We are therefore repeating some of those facts which we first pointed out in our editorial of August 1956.
The task of choosing national or local leaders is approached by some people in a spirit of levity, while others, far too many others approach it in a spirit of belligerence. Neither attitude is likely to lead to success in picking the person best qualified for the job. We should remember, and if we forget, someone should remind us that the presidency of the United States is not a prize to be awarded to the actor who puts on the best show, nor to the pugilist who puts up the best fight. If we were choosing an aviator to pilot a plane that was to carry us on a long and dangerous flight into an unknown region, we would be foolish to allow ourselves to be unduly influenced by the personality of the applicant. If we were wise we would realize that personality is not necessarily a reflection of character, nor does it always indicate ability. Our chief concern should be the character of the applicant, and his, or her ability to pilot!
In the coming months, as the time of decision draws near, we will be engulfed in a flood of oratory and exhortation, praising this person and denouncing that one. We will hear again the many glowing promises that have been made in every political campaign since our elective system was established, and which have seldom been remembered afterwards. We will find that the truly vital issues are seldom aired, but we will be belabored with endless arguments on corollary subjects of relatively little importance, but which are calculated to arouse the emotions of the listener
Let us remember that the political party to which the candidate belongs is, at best, of only secondary importance. We have enjoyed prosperity, and have suffered economic depression under each of the two political parties now vying for power. We have been forced into war, and have found the way to peace under each. The often heard argument that the coming into power of one party or the other would pose a serious threat to our national welfare, is a baseless one, as history has proven upon many occasions.
We should be slow to accept a candidate whose principal arguments consist of destructive criticism of opponents, remembering the classic advice given by a famous barrister to his law student, “If the law is on your side, talk the law. If justice is on your side, talk justice, but if neither law or justice are on your side, your only hope is to lambaste your opponents.
By the time election day finally rolls around, the citizen has heard so much criticism, complaint, gentle and sometimes serious mud slinging, that he or she can hardly help wondering how any of the candidates can have the audacity to pretend to be competent to hold any public office! Yet it is the best system we have been able to create so far. Ballots are better than bullets, and we should make the best possible use of them.
(signed) Daniel W. Fry
We should very much like to be in two places at once but, as stated earlier, we’ve not yet mastered that art, nor are we likely to in this lifetime.
As said in the Feb. Newsletter, “ANY time the Newsletter is delayed, it is because we are out lecturing and causing Understanding, Inc., of which you are a family part, to grow.” And so it was as we left at dawn of March 3rd for Mobile, Alabama, arriving on the evening of the 5th. Half of the three days were spent in heavy downpour where the visibility was often dangerously, only a car length ahead! Many cars were alongside the road unable to proceed. As always God was with us all the way.
Our sponsor arranged our room in the Sheraton, a 17 story cylinder (or round tower) in the center of town.
The lecture was given in the Sheraton Ballroom. From our windows we watched the Marde Gras Parade 3 times. Once on our left as it went around the building; on the right as it proceeded, and finally in front of us as it returned to its starting point. Much labor, love and money goes into creation of the Mardi Gras Parade floats, bands etc., for this final fling of ‘Fat Tuesday’ & then the Lenten season begins as we approach Easter, that joyous and most Holy day.
At 4 P.M. of the 7th, Dr. Fry was officially before the board of the research corporation, and is now a 4 year director of that group of highly qualified business men including an M.D. and one of the top judges of Mobile. It was one of our great pleasures to have met, also, an architectual designer whose beautiful plans will revamp the port area of Mobile, and, who is working with a middle east country with which we also are working for world betterment. He was meeting with the ambassador OF that country the next day in Wash. D.C.
On the 8th Dr. Fry’s lecture went as scheduled. Early on the 9th, we drove to New Orleans for Dr. Fry to speak there THAT night which he did, and also on the 10th and the 11th. When lectures end, there is a question period of an hour or more. Then there is always the ‘close’ group who want to have a meal and more good talk. (We prefer not to do this when we are at home.) Anyhow, we seldom saw our beds before 1 or 2 A.M. We rested on the 12th and on the 13th we drove, via Shreveport, to Dallas and Ft. Worth, Texas, where Dr. Fry delivered 4 lectures on the 15th, 16th, 17th & 18th. Many lovely people and again late hours and too much to do. On the 19th we had to rest.
About noon on the 20th we left Ft. Worth, stopping overnight in mid-Texas, and home by 7 P.M. of the 21st. On the 22nd we rested & collected the box full of mail that had accumulated, and on the 23rd we completed most of the errands we had to do.
Today is the 24th, and we are again working on this Newsletter. The family, of which you are a part grew as we went along, and you now have kindred souls in Mobile, New Orleans, Port Sulphur, Dallas, and Ft. Worth. As soon as we can get to it, they will receive charters, and become full fledged units of Understanding, Inc.
We have to leave again, about the time this reaches you, for Phoenix and continued aggrevation regarding Understanding’s only property so fouled up legally but not through any fault of ours!
If your April Newsletter does’nt arrive the 1st week of April you’ll know why. — As you can imagine, we are very tired, but not too tired to say, “We love you all!
(signed) Daniel Q. Fry
Treasurer, Understanding, Inc.