MAY 26, 1942
WASHINGTON, Monday—This column has to be written at an extraordinarily early hour because I must make an 8:00 o'clock ferry in Annapolis to go to Chestertown, Md., where I am attending the comencement exercises at Washington College. I am to give an address and receive an LL.D. degree.
Last night, at 7:00 o'clock, I went to the Foundry Methodist Church to talk with their group of young people, who have been meeting on Sunday evenings at the Institute of Christian Citizenship. This is another of the efforts made by different groups to give newcomers in Washington some feeling of home environment away from their own church and home occupations.
I wonder if you have been amused by the cartoons of the President's little dog, Fala, which one of the weekly magazines has been publishing. This week Fala is looking disconsolately at a collection of bags marked with my initials. As a matter of fact, the only person Fala would object to seeing depart is the President, and the dog is quite sure that will never happen. So far, he has always gone along, except on one occasion. Then he did take refuge with me, but he was such an inconsolable little dog I was glad the separation was a short one.
I have just finished Granville Hick's "Only One Storm." I enjoyed it even though these days we seem to be driven by something within us to move quickly, and it was hard for me to stick to a novel which developed so slowly. Yet it was healthy and there are passages in it which I want to remember.
For instance, there is a line: "You can not be tolerant unless you are prefectly sure you are right—or do not care much." That is absolutely true. I am afraid with a good many people tolerance is a matter of indifference. But, when it has its roots in the security of one's convictions and beliefs, then tolerance can be a very fine thing. In that kind of tolerance there is true humility which, in spite of personal conviction, listens and tries to understand other points of view.
There are some pages in chapter sixteen which I think we can all read with care at the present time. At the very end of the description of the funeral of the important old man of the village, there is an observation that just now has a special significance:"One had to die, but one did not have to waste life in thinking about death." Something, perhaps, many of us will have to remember in the course of the next few years.