January, 1988


Every new year begins with a celebration, and with the hone that this year will be better than the last. Some years justify the hopes with which they are met, most of them do not. The year 1988 however, is one that should be watched with interest and concern as well as hope, since it may prove to be one of the most significant and memorable years in modern history. There is just a chance that this may be the year in which world leaders (at least the more intelligent ones) may decide that it is time to leave the old, arrogant, self-serving political format that leads only to repeated warfare, and to ultimate extermination, and try instead, the tolerant, cooperative approach that is more likely to lead to permanent peace. It is, however, a road that, if taken, will not be an easy one for the leaders. While there is little doubt that Reagan and Gorbachev can get along together, there is no certainty that the U.S. Congress and the Politburo will do the same.

The first step in rapprochement must, of course be the achievement of a better understanding, and perhaps, even a little bit of trust between the two countries. This would not be a great problem insofar as the common people of Russia are concerned. In spite of half a century of Kremlin propaganda and the general name calling by both sides, the Russian people have not quite forgotten the millions of tons of food and munitions shipped to them freely by the U.S. under Lend-Lease, and the Normandy invasion by U.S. troops that pulled half of the Wehrmacht off their backs, and enabled them to mount a counter attack that considerably shortened the war. In short, they have not quite forgotten that we were their ally, fighting with then in the hour of their greatest peril.

The Politburo, while it has kept up a fairly continuous flow of derogatory propaganda against the U.S., for the purpose of making their own people feel somewhat more content with their own lot, has been too intelligent to be fooled by its own propaganda, and is now beginning to admit publicly, that there are some conditions in Russia that could be improved, and are beginning to look to the U.S. for ideas.

Both sides have bled their economic systems to the point of bankruptcy in order to build endless monsters of total destruction, but each side has done so only because the other side was doing it! Now there is a chance that we have leaders with enough intelligence to see the utter nonsense of the situation as well as the stark tragedy of its inevitable result. They are doing their best to reverse the situation so that each of the countries can begin to eliminate their mutucidal devices, because the other side is doing it!

It has been pointed out by the doubters and pessimists that even if the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. do manage to establish friendly relations, the two together constitute only 10% of the world population, and the remaining 90% would still be fighting each other. To this there are two answers. In the first place, While the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. have only 10% of the world population, they have more than 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons. The second answer is simply that if the hundreds of billions of dollars and rubles that are now spent in preparation for universal death, were spent instead for things necessary or desirable for life, the want and privation that causes most of the fighting in the remainder of the world, could readily be eliminated.

Daniel W. Fry

The Birth of Understanding, Inc.

Out of the depths of the infinite void,

Through eons of time descending,

A Concept pure, met receptive minds,

Of earthmen, merging and blending.

The concept grew and became a plan,

Unfolding and expanding,

The path to peace and joy in life,

We Call it Understanding.

Blessed are the Peacemakers

for they shall be called

the children of God.

We have what we seek. It is there all the time and if we give it time it will make itself known to us.

Thomas Merton

If I Had My Life To Live Over            by Nadine Stair

If I had my life to live over, I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I’ve been this trip. I would take fewer things less seriously. I would take more chances. I would take more trips, climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I’m one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I’ve had my moments and, if I had it to do over again, I’d have more of them. In fact I’d try to have nothing else! Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.

I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had it to do over again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I Would Pick more daisies and smell more flowered!

(handwritten) and smell more flowers!  Ah-yes!  Cleona Q.