September 1984


Many persons, after having read the headlines of any metropolitan newspaper, or watched the national news broadcast on television, are inclined to sigh deeply and remark that, “The world is surely going to the dogs!” Few of those who use this well known expression realize however, that the saying has been in common use, in many languages, at least since the earlier days of Greek history, some hundreds of years before the birth of Christ! It seems that the “Dogs” must be very patient animals to have waited so long!

It may be true that the casual perusal of almost any large city newspaper in this country today, especially in an election year, is likely to bring about, in the mind of the reader, the feeling that the world is one seething, fuming mass of evil and injustice resulting principally from the schemes and plots of the many unprincipled and greedy individuals and groups that seem to be in control of things. While there is a certain amount of apparent evidence to support this conclusion, there is no actual justification for the belief that the world is, on the whole, any worse today, than it has been at any time in the past.

The fact is simply that our present civilization is becoming more and more aware of injustice and evil than ever before. With the constantly increasing use of radio, television and international satellite communication, news travels almost instantaneously throughout the world. Criminal acts, acts of injustice or terrorism that, in the past, might never have been reported outside the area where they were committed, now become known to almost everyone. This fact, together with the slowly but surely growing realization by man, of his basic responsibility to his fellowman, has brought about a degree of awareness of injustice and evil that has never before existed. It is not therefore, that the world is becoming more evil, but that mankind is becoming more acutely aware of the evils which have always existed, and is becoming less tolerant of them.

Most forms of evil and injustice work smoothly, efficiently, and, except for the cries of the victim, may go almost unnoticed when committed in the darkness of human ignorance and apathy, but few can continue to flourish when exposed to the light of human understanding. Therefore, the present rate of exposure of evil throughout the world, should be taken as an encouraging sign of human progress, since it is necessary to understand any situation before the proper steps can be taken to correct it!

Daniel W. Fry

(hand written) Cleona’s Corner

(typed) All of you who received August Newsletters, knew we were leaving on an Understanding ‘talk’ tour, plus visits to members in 4 states, and that we expected to return the first week of September, which we did right on schedule. It was almost 4,000 miles of L-O-N-G- tedious driving from which it took several days of rest to begin to feel normal again! As you’d guess, the visits were 98% rewarding, and gave us more members of Understanding, Inc.

Briefly, the weather here is just glorious and pure delight and, Oh, yes! we are so glad to be home!

Most of you know that we sold a ‘too large house’ and took one a bit smaller until such time as we ever stay home long enough to remodel the still smaller one I’ve owned for 27 years here. It means selling off much excess furniture etc., and to live less encumbered by possessions – of which we all have too many – (Or are YOU the wise ‘one-out-of-100’ who lives simply?)

For five days in March, our host in Ft. Worth, whom we love dearly, shared his rare and beautiful home, full of treasurers, with us, and we were all happy together. It was a 75 year old stone house set in 26 acres, with huge fabulous trees, etc.

In late July, about 4:30 P.M., we received a call from him, from Tucson, Arizona, saying he’d be here in about 7 hours, in his 27ft. motor home. Upon arrival he was tired, we chatted briefly and all then slept. At 10:00 the next morning he came into our house. He said, “I’d planned to stay longer in Cal. until I was notified that my house burned down.” For a moment my mind could not accept what I’d heard! Thinking I’d surely heard wrong, I said, “YOUR house burned down::??:: I said it in shock and total disbelief! You see it was treasure filled! Rare books and manuscripts of which there are no duplicates, a desk which had belonged to U.S. President Franklin Pierce, portraits of his ancestors & on & on, all in an exquisite living room to be in, and a very wide carved solid mahogany stairway like no other – all now nothing but ashes!

He had a safe at least 7 ft. tall and 5 ft. wide, filled with rare papers and tapes. They all melted: The heartbreak must have been unbelievable – but he shrugged and said, “Oh well they were just things.”

Why do I tell you all this? Because 99% of you are guilty, (AS WE ARE!) of too many possessions! We fail to realize that the possessions really possess us by the care they require and insurance on them. We now will sell much more than we intended to! We will simplify our lives and be far more free of THINGS and their care, plus having more time for things of greater importance. If we have friends who value us only by our possessions, we need new friends! We love our dear friend AS HE is! What he has or does not have, in no way changes that. We hope you are loved just for what you are – not what you have, and we hope that is true for us too!

‘Course, you gotta be – a little loveable to begin with, and we think almost all our members are just that!

Do Enjoy this glorious month of September, with its wine rich air and splendor of colors. Being my favorite month, I wish it would last all year! Meanwhile, love one another, for that’s what it’s really all about, isn’t it? So little else matters.

Faithfully yours,

Cleona Q. Fry



My riches consist not in the

extent of my possessions but in the

fewness of my wants.

— J Brotherton.

(hand written) PS There are many letters to be answered. I will get to yours as soon as I possibly can!