APRIL 11, 1955
HYDE PARK—Easter Sunday finds me back in Hyde Park for the first time in many weeks. I cannot say that it looks very springlike as yet. A few little bulbs in my New York City garden are further ahead than anything green I see up here. But there is a feeling of coming spring in the air, and it is both exhilarating and peaceful to be in the country.
Easter is always a time of promise. For a Christian it is perhaps the promise of eternity and should be a joyous festival. The mere season of the year reminds us all of re-birth and the constant cycle in nature of birth and maturity, and after the winter's rest the return with renewed vitality to the ever-recurring growth. It should probably give to each of us individually the realization that this is a time to be grateful for any achievements which we may be able to take into account in the past year. But above everything else it is a time to realize that discouragement is a luxury no one can indulge in. We must simply accept any defeats or setbacks and begin again, as the world around us is beginning. The spring is not a time for sadness. It is a time for joy and renewal of hope.
Since my return from abroad I have given a few speeches in Pittsburgh, in Charlotte, N. C. and in Jacksonville, Fla., where I told about my observations in Israel. I have gradually picked up the threads of the work which has gone on in the office of the AAUN while I was away. I have also had an opportunity to talk with three different groups of students. It is becoming the custom, I think, for students to come to New York during their Easter vacation. They go sightseeing, attend the theatre, and the highlight of their trip is their visit to the U.N..
I have found that a most useful thing to do when you meet with the students is to let them ask questions. These students come from different parts of the country and of course reflect much of the thinking in their own home communities. One student, for instance, whose college is in a community not far from Chicago, asked me whether I really had any hope that the U.N. was going to succeed. I told her, of course, that I had great hope, but it depended on whether she and other citizens of the United States really worked to support the UN. I reminded her that our government would reflect the feeling of our people. If our people really felt that the U.N. could be made a force for peace, then it would become so.
In the U.N. we have set up some pretty good machinery, but it will work only if our government lives up to its commitments under the charter; and the government must feel that the people want them to do this. In addition, our representatives in Congress must know that the people want things done in the U.N. that will increase the happiness of other people throughout the world by raising their standard of living.
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