Handbook of Understanding
HANDBOOK OF UNDERSTANDING
Dr. Daniel W. Fry
Address: P,O, Box 76, Merlin, Oregon 97532
Printed in USA 1965 by CSA Press, Lakemont, GA 30552
Someone recently asked Dr. Fry this question: “What is the greatest need of Understanding, Inc.?”
Dr. Fry’s answer was brief: Understanding,” he said.
We must supply this need if UNDERSTANDING, INC. is to keep its obvious date with destiny. This date, for the good of the whole world, it must and shall keep.
Where do we start? With ourselves. With you. With me. I’ll ask myself questions. You put yourself in my place. Do I have the self-understanding to fit into the plans of UNDERSTANDING, INC., and push those plans forward? Is my “self” adaptable? Am I capable of cooperating with anybody and everybody? Must I always be boss?
Do I require a position of authority over my fellow-members before I can operate? Must I always have credit for what I can do, with the privilege of taking credit for what others do? Can I look at someone else, aryone else, without the absolute need of making that one over in my own image? Is my image ideal for anyone other than myself? Would J exchange images with anyone else?
Before all else, can I work closely, accurately, fully, as a member of a team, without being its head, its authority for existence? If I am elected to any office in the overall UNDERSTANDING team, or in a UNIT team, must I then and there recreate it in my own image? Am I capable of building upon what has been done, or must I tear it all down and build again, along lines of my own devising?
If I cannot, after thinking through the searching questions above, give myself selflessly to the task of understanding, clearly I have no “call” to more than passive membership in UNDERSTANDING, INC., or any of its Units. Even so, as a member-at-large I can contribute to its success on the material or financial side.
I’ll answer my own questions as I believe you, if you have the “call”, will answer them. I do understand myself; I wish to serve, insofar as I am capable, the purposes of UNDERSTANDING, INC. I shall, in concert with fellow members, push the plans of UNDERSTANDING, INC., as they are suggested by Dr. Daniel Fry, Founder and President of UNDERSTANDING, and those, of this earth and not of this earth”, who are his advisors. He has an “understanding” with those advisors who are in better position than I to see the overall picture. They may be no wiser than I, but their positions are more advantageous. I base my acceptance of them on what they expect meto accept. What I do not accept I shall certainly not, by word or deed, seek to destroy or damage. If, on the basis of this reasoning, I see I cannot “go along” with the plans of UNDERSTANDING, INC., I shall separate myself quietly and without criticism from the organization. I shall feel free then, if I wish, to start something of my own in the same field, or some other. I am aware that Dr. Fry’s “inspiration” for UNDERSTANDING, INC. is rather special, that, if he and his advisors elect, they will share it with me.
I am adaptable, or shall be before I heed the “call”. I shall expect cooperation in my segment of the work of UNDERSTANDING, INC., because I shall wholly, freely, inspirationally, give my own to anybody and everybody whose general aims, within the framework of UNDERSTANDING, INC., coincide with the plans envisioned in the founding of UNDERSTANDING, INC.
As to being “boss” I am aware that coordination of effort within UNITS is necessary; that this calls for organization as set forth in the UNDERSTANDING, INC. charter and general instructions for the formation and projection of Units. I shall cooperate fully where indicated if I am a member; I will carry out my obvious duties if elected to any office, realizing that this does not add to my personal sovereignty in the slightest, nor authorize me to diminish the sovereignty, personal, of anyone else in the Unit or the overall organization, UNDERSTANDING, INC. If I find myself unable to commend the work or behavior of any member, I shall definitely, avowedly, open not my mouth, nor answer, save by silence or disavowal, criticisms aimed at such others, by any who may momentarily or habitually forget the idealistic tenets of this paragraph. Without the indicated closeness of teamwork, Units cannot effectively operate. When Units do not operate they destroy themselves and by so much diminish the overall plans of UNDERSTANDING, INC. I shall not gossip, however juicy the morsels which come to my ears. I shall not heed gossip nor repeat it, bearing in mind an ancient Biblical injunction which custom has worded thus: Whoso carries gossip will originate it.”
If I desire a position of authority, why? To advance myself, in my own eyes or the eyes of others, or to advance the plans of UNDERSTANDING, INC., and/or the plans of individual UNITS? Do I actually need authority to establish, in my own mind, my adequacy to the work of UNDERSTANDING, INC., and therefore of life itself? I
am adequate. I make myself so from this moment, from the moment the “call” impinges upon me.
Must I have credit for every least thing I do? Except right here, where he doesn’t write it, Dr. Fry seeks no personal credit. That it accrues to him as he seeks to build, and build, and build, UNDERSTANDING, INC., is not the end intent or desire. That UNDERSTANDING shall make such progress is his desire, his intent. In fact this statement appears in many places in the written material of UNDERSTANDING, INC., “Nothing is impossible to you if you don’t care who gets the credit.”
After taking careful thought, allowing for inadequacies which only J may be noting in myself, I am quite sure that I wouldn’t be anybody else if such a miracle of transposition were possible. No, not Dr. Fry, nor
any one of his advisors, “of the earth or not of the earth.” Therefore I allow, without argument, the right of others to be them- selves. I’ll work with anybody, regardless of color, race, religion, political affiliations, being, first, a good citizen, next an active member of the race, next a busy, understanding member of UNDERSTANDING, INC. What I feel I need in any area, to prosecute my segment of UNDERSTANDING, INC., I shall find for myself, without demanding it of others. I am not a member of UNDERSTANDING, INC., for pay, position, authority, privileges, or because of anything Dr. Fry and/or his advisors can do for me.
I’m in the movement to do, not to be done for!
If I am elected to any office, or temporarily to any office, I shall never feel that this bestows upon me sovereignty over any other person. Instead I shall help that one, or anyone assisting, to exercise his or her own sovereignty in the prosecution of the general Understanding among peoples of the earth and peoples not of the earth” which I feel,at this time of growing light in the earth, is the basic need, that everybody shall see, and know, realize and absorb, his proper portion of that light.
The United States, from its inception, was destined to be the political light of the world. That is still its destiny. It has some storms to weather which no individual American may escape or will desire to escape; weathering those storms will establish that destiny.
Our project is to share with one another in a light of intelligence which has no bounds. To do this we must share that light with all others, needing first to recognize the fact that we do not share it, we do not ourselves have it.
Awareness, like charity, begins at home, within the self.
As we grow in awareness, all others in contact with us grow also, else we are not growing. But we are examples, not dictators, even in the slightest degree, save only as we dictate to ourselves, deep within ourselves, the facts of understanding, human “being.”
I’m about to found an Understanding Unit. That makes me, potentially, a co-founder of UNDERSTANDING, INC. I’m taking UNDERSTANDING, INC., into new territory. I am expanding it. How do I start? Write UNDERSTANDING, INC., P.O. Box 76, Merlin, Oregon, for details. Materials may come from elsewhere, but I start with a letter to headquarters, so that headquarters may know what goes on. There will be few requests to headquarters thereafter. If I have nothing to offer, what contribution can I possibly make? I am not letting myself out for adoption. I am not becoming a dependent. I have something to offer else I would sense no “call.” I shall know definitely what I have to offer before I proceed beyond a careful study of the organization materials. I start not by being a burden, but by assuming burdens: burdens of all around understanding.
How much is there to be done? There is no limit to need. How well do I know myself, to begin with? How well do I know anybody else, beginning with those nearest and dearest to me? These are sobering questions, in a world in which all-around understanding of virtually everything and everybody in that world is vital to survival.
Are we in some fashion doomed? Not at all. We are cresting the high tide of civilization; we need understanding to breast all breakers and make the beach of peace and safety beyond. We don’t wish to be lonely when we get there. We will be lonely if anyone is left behind to whom we can give a hand.
What may I expect of headquarters in my nebulous beginnings? Encouragement, guidance within reason. It is assumed by founder and co-founders that if I am capable of founding a Unit I am capable, within the individual powers of that Unit, of making it go effectively, profitably. Not profitable from the money standpoint primarily though even “understanding” requires money but profitable in all areas of limitless
Asked how big an audience he required at his lectures, Dr. Fry answered: “One!”
Recently in Washington, D.C., Dr. Fry talked with nine officials in the field of outer space. The talk lasted five hours. The officials came to listen, and listened. Dr. Fry was there to answer questions. He stayed to answer all. He always does. There are certain questions in such sessions that never even occur to him. Let’s postulate those questions:
“Can I afford to spend five hours of my valuable time with only nine people?” I’ll spend ten if they ask me. Is there anyone invited I would exclude if I were host or hostess?” No. Are any questions my audience could conceivably ask, to be ignored as trivial or foolish?” No.
Can I be pressured into impatience?” No.
Do I dislike anyone who listens, or even interrupts me?” No, any notice expresses interest.
“What do I do when the same questions are asked at lecture after lecture, or even by several seemingly inattentative people at the same lecture?” Answer fully, making sure that the questioner knows. Repeated questions expand the knowledge of the respondent, which he passes along to whoever asks next, No person, no question, should be ignored or pass unheard.
“How do I face challenges?” Eagerly, head-on. How else does one expand oneself – and “understanding?”
Suppose people make contact just to needle me?” Ignore the needle, answer the challenges and questions. Repeat:
disregard the needle. Noting the needle, disconcerts and may render ineffectual.
What has this to do with founding a Unit?
It’s well to know that there will certainly be challenges. What about challengers? Induce them to become members; make their sharpness an asset to the Unit and UNDERSTANDING, INC.
How do I select the five, including myself, necessary for a Unit charter? Spread the word; select those who select you. True worth lies in mutual selection without exclusion. Operate, don’t ingratiate. If you feel the need to tolerate, go back and start over and thus merit toleration yourself.
What kind of a meeting place do I need? One that will hold Unit members, visitors, speakers. Rent if you must, and only if you must, and the time will come when renting is necessary, when the wherewithal will pose no
problem. Unit meetings are not shows or entertainments unless billed as such, for a definite productive purpose. If entertainment is the basis of an UNDERSTANDING UNIT, call it something else. Yet it is con-
ceivable that entertainment might be such basis; bringing foreign orphans and prospective foster-parents together, for example: the orphans in their own lands, the prospective foster-parents in Unit attendance.
Such Units exist.
Should I have refreshments after business or other Unit activities? Yes. Pass the hat or the basket, or just leave them where they can’t be overlooked. Whatever is collected beyond expenses points at a dozen worthwhile UNDERSTANDING UNIT projects. Take some, and leave some for Headquarters, UNDERSTANDING, INC., which also has expenses but few meetings at which collections are suitable. Members and Units even compete in the amounts sent to Headquarters. This is not encouraged, but such amounts are happily accepted.
What is my primary duty as a Unit member? Attend every meeting. Invite at least one non-member to accompany you. There is no limit to membership. ‘Some of the largest Units are in small towns. Do your part to make sure that yours is not the smallest or, if it is of necessity small, not the least important because it does the least.
YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD, wrote Father James Keller to the individual reader of the book so titled, proving it by examples who were “just plain people.”
As a member or officer of UNDERSTANDING, INC., or one of its Units, do I get mixed up in politics? Yes, to the limit of your duty as a citizen. This is almost akin to the ancient statement: Know Thyself.
Know thy country and how it operates. Assist it to Spoaas so that you may continue proud of it. – Inform your foreign friends, of whom you will have an increasing number. Document with letters, newspaper clippings, books, magazines, tape recordings. Finance “from the inside out.”
Just what may I expect from Headquarters? A push. A start. Reliance upon your efficiency and initiative. Needed materials. Letterheads – not to waste. Your charter. Names and addresses of people with whom to correspond. Whatever you receive, return twice as much in some usable form.
Are there UNDERSTANDING, INC. speakers upon whom I may depend in the event of an appeal to the public via lectures to which non-members are invited? Many. Some pay their own expenses in some way. Others may’ need some of your collection to pay part or all of their expenses. Think up ways to cut down expenses, so you can keep more of the collection. Don’t be extravagant, but don’t interfere with the Law of Flow, either. What is the Law of Flow? Spend some to make some; share some of what you make; this is “bread cast upon the waters.” Call upon your inspiration to the fullest before you call upon anyone else: including UNDERSTANDING headquarters.
“You are autonomous in every way – within the framework of your charter. That means, make it go on your own.”
What’s the use of a headquarters which doesn’t carry the burdens yef its Units? Does the human head carry the body, or does the body carry the head? On the other hand, whither goes the headless body? Or the headless Unit?
Or the non-” Understanding” world?
Now I am a member of UNDERSTANDING, INC. I’m a member of a Unit. What do I do? Think of “understanding” things to do. Among other things, take note of the newspapers. You’ve noted “letter to the editor?” Have you ever written one? They set forth problems, frequently, don’t they? Anything at which you could help. Let newspapers know you’re a member of UNDERSTANDING, INC. Tell your friends as soon as you know where your going. If you don’t know, but have a hazy idea, listen to their criticisms. One will be:
Why bother about foreigners? There is plenty to do at home!”
This can be true. It usually is true. So see what the Unit can do at home. What it does will surely bring more members to the Unit, which can then do more for “foreigners.” And people at home who have needs, or problems, or questions they can’t get answered anywhere. Have the answers. Answers lead to information, knowledge, wisdom, self-awareness, therefore of great use to understanding” generally.
There are no “ruts” to get into if the mind is kept free to plan membership (your own) work in the Unit. To understand is to escape ruts, and help others to escape them.
You’re not a “do-gooder” in the usual sense. You don’t snoop. You’re not a Peeping Tom in any degree. Enough will come to you to eep you satisfyingly occupied, if you keep all your senses alert.
Do I actually know what “understanding” means? Now is a good time to look it up.
I find, right off, dozens of things in which to interest myself that I never noticed before. Alertness pays off. I have ideas now. I take them to Unit Meetings. [If they’re regarded as good, I don’t let them die there. Large or small, I keep them moving.
Every day I tell someone about UNDERSTANDING, INC., and what my Unit is doing about it. I listen when I am answer- ed, advised, given The Word. If what myrespondent suggests is feasible and useful, I invite him or her to the next Unit meeting. Or I do something about it, then and there.
How many “foreigners” are there near my Unit? Or within my circle of correspondence? Have I ever considered them? Do I know whence they came, yo “foreign” families? Are there channels here whereby I can do something for those “foreigners”, who are actually no more foreign than my own forbearers were, by getting names of people abroad who might like to have mail from the United States, from others than our foreigners” in residence?
Aside from letters, striking up acquaintance, what can I send to such people? They don’t understand English? Well, they can start by looking at pictures. No women are too “foreign” by birth or language, to look at fashion magazines, newspapers or advertisements therein without interest. They can match the legends with what they know the pictures project. A word here, a word there, and correspondence starts something for “understanding.”
It works both ways. Maybe people abroad, hearing from me, haven’t the money to send newspapers, magazines, books. They can send clippings, tear-sheets, for little. Or we can work out some way by which I can send at least the postage for such materials.
These are obvious suggestions. I can think, given a bit of time, and inspiration, of dozens of better ones. I keep some sort of record. If something especially interesting comes in, I’ll make sure people hear about it who should. I won’t tire people with my stories of UNDERSTANDING. There are many people to move on to, if anyone looks bored. I won’t bore anyone. That means I keep it interesting. I don’t just talk of UNDERSTANDING because it’s suggested right here, but because I’m interested, profoundly so, and am therefore able to communicate. That’s what understanding is, largely, communication.
Am I involved in any kind of cult? No, unless “Understanding” is a cult, unless people, humanity, is a cult. My officers aren’t cults, or interested in starting any. We all sign our names to what we offer in writing, for purposes of individualization solely. People respond more quickly to identification. No? How long do you converse with some- one who hasn’t been introduced, to whom you haven’t introduced yourself?
By the way, how many group meetings do you attend, any kind of group meetings, which you leave without knowing any, all, or a few of the people? And, holding a meeting, do you make sure that everybody knows everybody, especially the people to right and left?
I must label myself, so that I shall be known, even as I know I’d like to know the other fellow’s label. The label is as important, so far as the name goes, as the signatureon a check to everybody interested in that
check. I’m a kind of “check”, “cashing” myself – on the basis of mutual understanding.
What do we do?” our Unit president may ask. Expecting such a question to be asked, I’ll have something to suggest. I’ll think it out, have the answers. If, under the aegis of the Unit, I can do the thing myself, I’ll do it. Who is better qualified to carry out a suggestion than the one who makes it, if it can be done by one person? The Unit is the basis, the foundation, always a good place to start understanding of any new project, thing, person, objective, that needs taking in hand. Not “busy-body” hands, ever. Most things that come to me to do, or to the Unit to coordinate and do, will come of themselves, as soon as UNDERSTANDING, INC., or its nearest Unit is a matter of common local knowledge. We’re not messengers though, or flunkies, or someone on whom other people dump their problems, washing their hands of them – though I can think of places in which these very roles can be honorably played by me, by us. Nothing possible to me, us, in the areas of UNDERSTANDING, is ever ruled out. To rule anything out is to crystalize, the very opposite of understanding.
I’ll sit in judgment only on myself; and I’ll do even this with tolerance. I’m not sacrosanct, all-knowing, always right, but I’ll always try to be right before I go ahead. However, if action is indicated, I’ll start
moving, since it is better to move, even at an oblique angle, than to take no action.
No obviously needed action, by me or the Unit, will be delayed for “red tape”, parliamentary procedure, so much of which can clog the wheels of understanding. This doesn’t rule out methods of procedure, or rule out rules; it simply doesn’t allow them to rule out needed action, or to be used as excuses.
No member of UNDERSTANDING, INC., or any of its Units, has excuses for failing to do the obviously needed, if it’s in his power. And if he is aware of it, and the need, it is in his power, with or without help. Help is available if needed; he/she will provide help where needed by others.
I’ll read more. Our media for communication are filled with suggestions, not all of which are obvious or even noticeable by non-members. There is so much I can do, or say, or write, with little extra effort on my part, that up to now I haven’t done, said or written. Doing now, saying now, writing now, one or all three, become exciting adventure. On my job of Understanding, I have no time to be bored or to feel sorry for myself. I fill the bored and sorry vacuums with useful activity – even if I only sitand think it over, becoming better acquainted with myself. I discover that I’m not at all a bad person to know! Knowing this, I can better know someone else – especially the man or woman or child who, up to now, I have preferred not to know, or communicate with in any way. By such past failure I may well have been robbing myself, all these years.
My ideas, if I go to the exciting trouble of having any, may turn out to be something wonderful – for me and for any “foreigners”, including domestic foreigners.
There is always, whatever the member does, or the Unit, or UNDERSTANDING headquarters, the question of money. Membership, national or Unit, is $2.00 a year, UNDERSTANDING MAGAZINE is $2.50 a year; postage, letterheads and envelopes cost something. Other expenses just seem to come about.
One prospective member said he couldn’t afford UNDERSTANDING MAGAZINE. He smoked cigarettes, several packs a day. Dr. Fry asked him if he could smoke one cigarette less daily. This seemed simple, and answered the question of “afford.” What one really wishes, one can afford. And just one of Dr. Fry’s editorials, pick any one, is worth the $2.50 for the magazine.
Also, that magazine should be pushed. You subscribe, of course. The advertising rates are too low, but you can advertise for yourself, or suggest advertising in the magazine to others. It pays off, generally. It also pays for contributions, which it doesn’t need to do, actually. How hard do you push UNDERSTANDING MAGAZINE, the very best advertising for UNDERSTANDING, INC., your Unit, and yourself in your understanding work? Buy up back copies, if any, and sell or give them away, to acquaint others with UNDERSTANDING, INC.
Does this put a burden on you?
Let’s see. How many pennies do you suppose you handle in the course of a week? Of what value is a penny, by itself? It may buy a few minutes on a parking meter – for awhile yet. But suppose every time you got a penny you dropped it in a glass or saucer, or the piggy bank? It really counts up, and a handful, even of pennies, will buy. At least one member of record buys quite a lot of understanding coverage in exactly this
Do you tithe? Tithing does heed the Law of Flow. Share what you have left just before your next paycheck. It adds up. During World War II a question was frequently asked:
Is this trip necessary?”
Suppose we change it a bit, to: “Is this purchase necessary, or even wise?” If it isn’t, you decide, put away what you save by not making it. Don’t give it all to UNDERSTANDING, INC., or your Unit, but some of it. Among other valuable bits of learning, you’ll discover how much you spend that can easily be considered a waste
Don’t forget to make sure that UNDERSTANDING MAGAZINE has the widest possible distribution you can give it. One way to do this is to distribute this handbook. That’s easy if it is issued for free. It’s almost as easy if it isn’t, for all income from it, direct or indirect, is the property of UNDERSTANDING, INC. Enough distribution of UNDERSTANDING MAGAZINE and/or HANDBOOK OF UNDERSTANDING, and even RADIO UNDERSTANDING will be fully financed. Then…
Are you looking forward to that? It will be devoted to UNDERSTANDING, INC., and “fringe” matters other stations do not touch, as well as items other stations might. It will need a lot of material to run twenty
of the daily twenty four hours. You could begin thinking of that.
You don’t have to await Christmas to buy and give away subscriptions, or single copies, of UNDERSTANDING MAGAZINE.
The Magazine, this Handbook, other items to come, including numbers of Dr. Daniel Fry’s books, are property – something to sell instead of asking contributions “for love.” You’re not heeding a begging bowl when
you contribute to UNDERSTANDING, INC.; you’re financing your own best interests, understanding and communication. You can see this if you can intelligently see” UNDERSTANDING, INC., and apprehend its ideals, encompass its expanding plans.
What books by Dr. Fry are “property?”
STEPS TO THE STARS, a reprint. THE CURVE OF DEVELOPMENT. Dr. DANIEL FRY’S EDITORIALS, coming up; maybe a dozen of them, any one of which is worth whatever price is asked for the booklet.
THE WHITE SANDS INCIDENT and TO MEN OF EARTH. Every member and prospective member needs both of these, published currently as one book. Headquarters, Merlin, Oregon, quotes the prices. Or they may be found in
Recommended Books, UNDERSTANDING MAGAZINE.
Dr. Fry’s lectures on tape are available, and the astute Unit organization can produce something tangible and fluid from these. They’re worth whatever they produce, no matter what it is.
Dr. Fry’s live lectures. Remember this, though: no “name”, at least in this field, brings in a real audience via simple an- nouncements, brochures, postal cards, even radio and television, though every one of these should be utilized to the fullest. “Word of mouth” remains the best advertising. Word of mouth” means every kind of mouth”, including and especially, the telephone. Are you going to a Fry lecture tonight, sponsored by your Unit, or a teamwork of Units? How many people do you know who don’t even know about it? They wouldn’t go? You never know until you call and ask – and “sell”, and maybe wheedle a little. Even our brochures, cards, placards, letters, can be classed as “trash mail”, even bearing first class postage, by recipients who do not know. Follow up every approach, in every way possible, every time something is set up by the Unit. “I didn’t have the time”, is a disheartening statement, if made two hours before the lecture, or the meeting, by so much as one member of the telephone committee.” Nothing approaches the personal touch for results, for UNDERSTANDING UNITS or any project of which people should be reminded, and reminded, and reminded. And be a little enthusiastic! Nor fear the banged-down receiver; nor the lukewarm, “Well, maybe I’ll make it; I’ll look at my schedule.” If this is the answer you’ve failed to “sell.” And don’t drop somebody from the list because the first, second, or third reaction is lukewarm, or even hostile. Hostility may signal lack of understanding, literally.
Plan your approaches; make them foolproof.
And don’t sound as if you had a certain number of phone calls to make, and were hurrying to finish a “chore.” If you do, it will be your Unit you’ll be finishing, insofar as it lies within your power – or lack of exercise of your power of persuasion. You’ll be amazed how much time you have for the most worthwhile UNDERSTANDING activities – even the least is worthwhile – if you take note of the time and see that sufficient, daily, is allotted UNDERSTANDING. Of course you form a habit quickly, but this is a good one.
Do you have any books, any books, you could send to UNDERSTANDING LIBRARY, Box 76, Merlin, Oregon? Headquarters, if the library were appreciable, could loan the books on a rental basis.
Do people ever return books? Seldom, unless pushed. You could push, even yourself.
Subscriptions to UNDERSTANDING MAGAZINE?
Sales of this HANDBOOK, if it is to be sold; distribution otherwise if not? Always bear this in mind: the free item is seldom appreciated, even at Christmas.
What other money-making-saving devices can you think up – after watching the holes in your pocketbook for a week? Leave the holes, but hold your hands under them! How much you’ll find you can do, without depriving yourself appreciably.
You could even have two baskets at Unit meetings. One for refreshment, one for some aspect of UNDERSTANDING.
Are we harping too much on money? No, not much money, but little money, painstakingly observed and collected.
One day, of course, people will bequeath to UNDERSTANDING, INC., and it won’t be long. Less worthy causes advertise bequests made them. It’s an idea to snuggle.
What other ideas have come to you, just reading this far?
What business has anyone starting an UNDERSTANDING UNIT in my town, or in any town anywhere near me? What nerve!” It is conceivable that two Units be founded in the same house, or the same family. This should be emphasized. It is not the desire of UNDERSTANDING, INC., to corner Understanding, but to expand it No Unit is in competition with any other except in a healthy way, like competing to see which can expand it farther than the other. But each Unit, busy about Understanding business, is just too busy to be concerned about what progress” another Unit makes – even if that Unit is next door. Of course there is always the possibility of learning something new from the Unit next door, next town, next county, which may not have occurred to one.
Should a member of a Unit, having discovered something new and wonderful, share it with other members, other Units? Absolutely, yes! Every member of Understanding probably likes dogs, but not the kind that take over mangers.
Loyalty to a Unit, or to UNDERSTANDING, INC., is admirable. Loyalty to the ideas expressed and expounded, which expand understanding generally, is of greater importance. If you think your idea is good, spread it, for that is what Understanding is all about. Send items to UNDERSTANDING MAGAZINE, or include them in Let
ters to the Editor of local newspaper or papers – and then send clippings to UNDERSTANDING, INC., at Merlin. In fact, mention of Understanding work anywhere, is of great importance.
Should I attend the meetings of “rival” Units?
Certainly, and ask members of other Units to attend yours. Masonry, the Rotarians, Elks, Moose, Odd Fellows didn’t grow to their present size by regarding Masons, Rotarians, Elks, Moose, Odd Fellows from other areas as “foreigners.” Every Understanding member should feel at home in any Understanding Unit, and be asked to express himself or herself. Meeting places and dates of meetings may be obtained from UNDERSTANDING, INC., together with names of officials of such Units. Repeat and repeat:
member of Units, or national members, are not in competition with one another to the extent of withholding good ideas from one another. Units are in close association, as close as they wish to make such association, with other Units. Bear this in mind, however: Units are autonomous. Each Unit runs itself. None from any Unit interferes, unasked, with whatever another Unit does. No UNDERSTANDING, INC., official has time, from his/her Understanding commitments, to referee non-essential combats. Who so can’t fight, should never start one. One who can fight, seldom has to.
Should I attend, or suggest that my members attend, meetings of other Units, for any and all purposes? We are all associated in a drive to a common goal, remember?
Go, if asked, with your Unit if asked – even as you’d wish others to come to your meetings, especially public ones. Pennies paid your Unit by visitors, even members of other Units, buy just as much for Understanding generally, as your own pennies, or the pennies of perfect strangers. And other members know better how greatly even pennies may be needed.
Do you have a correspondence list? Stickers, supplied by UNDERSTANDING, INC., call attention to UNDERSTANDING, INC. And additional mention of your aims, ‘goals, ideas and ideals, to your friends, families and acquaintances – together with names and addresses of Units near them – all go toward greater expansion of UNDERSTANDING,
INC., and what it must do in the years ahead to keep abreast, of Understanding vitally needed by everybody.
Is there anything I can do in a physical way, aside from the obvious understanding ways, to advance the manifold causes of Understanding? I’ll think up some! I’ll offer in writing to the Unit or to UNDERSTANDING Headquarters. If a speaker for UNDERSTANDING comes anywhere near me, and I can help my own Unit or any and all Units within reach, to turn out crowds for him or her, I shall do so. I’ll also keep track of speakers completely outside my area, and if I know anybody anywhere near his/her tour route, I’ll write that one, or those, providing the information, and urging attendance.
Is there anywhere, aside from UNDERSTANDING, INC., Headquarters, I can obtain Understanding literature? Currently, yes: from Esther Stilgebouer, 3469 Spruce Street, Riverside, California, 92501. There are, or will be, others, as Board Members rotate, or new ones are elected, so I’ll maintain “intelligence” by watching reports in UNDERSTANDING MAGAZINE, or such other media as may, from time to time, come into being.
Do I like or approve of this Handbook? It could contain fewer pages, fewer words. It could contain vastly more. In your opinion, how can it be improved, to clarify UNDERSTANDING for tomorrow’s members? It’s not sacrosanct. Write in, even if you suggest changes calling for a special meeting of the Board of Directors.
Is there a card, or identification symbol, whereby The Word may be spread? Yes. Stickers, already referred to, also letterheads. Always supplement these with personal comments. There is nothing like the personal touch to expand Understanding. That’s why Dr. Fry, capable of earning high fees as consultant to government and industry,
sacrifices time and money – considering it no sacrifice at all, traveling when he should be sleeping, eating if he doesn’t forget to eat – to make sure that members desirous of knowing the expanding facts of Understanding, “get The Word.” You want him for a lecture at your Unit? Ask, and discover what can be negotiated, bearing in mind that even Dr. Fry, who lives in his car when he drives, must take time out occasionally to sleep, eat, and spruce up a bit. He has crossed the continent in two and a half days, but should not always be required to do so. How, might I ask myself, does my effort for UNDERSTANDING compare with his? Of course I’m not the Founder and President, but then I didn’t found the United States either, and may never become president. I like it here, just the same, or I wouldn’t stay here. And what I like, I bless and brag about.
Suppose I start receiving a lot of mail? I could easily be buried in it.” So you could, but only if you allow it to pileup. Answer mail the day it arrives, if at all possible, even if you answer only the bare bones of each letter. Not every answer, even to a lengthy letter, has to be equally lengthy. News need not thus be transmitted. Refer writers to other UNDERSTANDING, INC., news media. Of course, if you have time to “gossip” – in the very best sense of the word, with see in the dictionary and be surprised – use the time. But do answer mail.
Yes, we are aware that Dr. Fry seldom answers mail. But little of it escapes his attention, including UNDERSTANDING, INC., answers to queries. Rest assured that he is the busiest member, Unit or at-large, of UNDERSTANDING, INC. Do questions ever come to you to be answered, which you are tempted to refer to UNDERSTANDING, INC., for answers? Answer them, sending carbon copy to Headquarters. Overworked, little-paid or under-paid folks at Headquarters will bless you. “Little-paid?” Under-paid?” Who in UNDERSTANDING, INC., is paid at all, save in the heart where satisfaction pays for sincere effort expended and those who have it “shell out” when postage runs low?
Shall we start? Let’s!