MARCH 28, 1951
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Today I went over the papers sent me by the Secretary of State which I must carefully study before starting for Geneva for the next meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Commission. I am impressed by the fact that at some point it is going to be necessary to draw together some of the work done in the other agencies of the United Nations that touches on human rights, because there must be no duplication. Lack of knowledge by one part of a great organization of what is going on in another part may mean much duplication of effort.
For instance, UNESCO has been making studies on certain aspects of human rights that should be of value to all the nations in implementing these rights along with lines, for instance, of race relations.
The publication I have just read is called "The Story of UNESCO's Statement on Race Problems." It is the method and procedure that led up to the final formulation of the statement. This is a very fine and scholarly presentation and shows how UNESCO has started out to achieve its three objectives:
(1) To collect scientific materials concerning problems of race;
(2) To give wide diffusion to the scientific material collected;
(3) To prepare an educational campaign based on this information.
This educational campaign, of course, is very important, for at present it looks as though we may be in a race between education that will permit us to consider human beings important and grant them the opportunity of trying to exist without war which most quickly destroys their human rights, and lack of education that destroys these rights and freedoms and engages in war. And we know today that war may easily mean the destruction of our civilization.
UNESCO is not the only body that is engaged in doing things that will touch upon the work of the Human Rights Commission, and it will be most interesting to make a closer study in the next few months of the work of the specialized agencies also concerned.
I noticed today that we still have not sent the wheat that India has requested. It seems to me that the value of our gift will be entirely lost unless we stop bickering as to whether it should be a gift or a loan. It was asked as a gift. The need is great, and people may die in great numbers if our Congress does not make up its mind soon to act.
If you want to be both entertained and enlightened I think you should read a book written by Sally Liberman, called, "A Child's Guide to a Parent's Mind," and illustrated by Kiriki.
Some of the things all parents have been learning are repeated here. It seems every generation has to learn the same things. And if we go right on trying to make our children either what we wanted to be and never were, or something far better which they don't want to be, and we do not allow them just to grow up giving them an opportunity to be what they themselves would like to be, we will fail as parents. I get a feeling as I look at some of the illustrations that it would be a very good thing if children could be "forgotten" now and then at home. Sure, they must be loved; they must be needed. But it would be better not to talk about them all the time and occasionally it would be better for them to have less thought devoted to them.