MARCH 8, 1955
NEW YORK —I am constantly receiving plans for how we can bring about world peace with ease and dispatch. Few of them, however, are quite as simple as the one that came to me the other day from a Mr. Gordon Weston of Pasadena, California.
Mr. Weston suggests that all the women of the world should be asked to do a spring cleaning and to put into the hands of some organization everything that is no longer needed in their homes and everything that they will not use again. Then this organization would find ways of giving jobs to all the unemployed people by putting them to work on reconditioning or selling this mountain of unused materials.
Mr. Weston is inspired, of course, by the pattern of the Goodwill Industries, which have employed some handicapped people in reconditioning furniture and various other donated articles and later selling them. I believe the Salvation Army also does some of this work in 96 countries through the world and employs over 500,000 workers.
Many such agencies as these, however, also are doing missionary work whereas Mr. Weston feels that if we "gave more to industrial organizations they would gradually be able to expand and hire nearly everyone in any country that couldn't get a job otherwise." This, according to his reasoning, would bring about the contentment that would ease the belligerent attitudes in the world today.
Mr. Weston goes on to suggest that, secondly, the United Nations should make it clear that small nations are as important as large nations and that its first objective is to improve the living conditions of the people in such places. His third proposal is that the world practice Christianity.
Mr. Weston seems to overlook the fact that very large areas of the world do not happen to be Christian but that practically all religions practice many of the same principles.
There may well be some good suggestions in his thoughts, however. I wish I could think that peace could be brought to us quite so easily. Nevertheless, I am quite convinced that everything deserves some consideration, and so I hope the women of the world will consider what they can do to raise the standard of living everywhere. They may find that there are many agencies working on a worldwide basis that could cooperate with them.
For instance, on Sunday, March 20, in all Catholic Churches of the United States, the Bishops' Welfare and Emergency Relief Fund will conclude its tenth annual drive for five million dollars, to be applied to the needs of the poor and exiled people overseas. This help is given on the basis of need only and without regard to race or religion. And it is interesting to note that the Catholic Church is able to keep its overhead and administrative expenses down to two percent of the funds collected. The drive begins on Sunday, March 13 and ends on March 20.
The Protestant Churches are doing their share with many different groups and the Jewish groups are helping not only with their own special interests, but frequently join in the campaigns of other denominations as well.
There are vast numbers of people trying to help others without the assistance of government resources, and that is one of the hopeful signs in the world today.
(Distributed by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
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About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 8, 1955
Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007
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