FEBRUARY 9, 1962
SARASOTA, Fla.—I came down here Tuesday afternoon for a few days and was delighted by the comfortably cool weather under a warm sun. On Wednesday I flew over to Miami to attend a luncheon of the Israel Bond organization, and there found the weather a little warmer. The ladies looked their very best in colorful summer clothes. My dark, New York traveling clothes looked very much out of place.
I saw an amusing cartoon on the front page of the Tampa Tribune the other day. It showed the Cuban Ambassador, who apparently has been accusing the United States of the intention of invading Cuba this month, waving his arms and demanding of the Afro-Asian group that they let out a blast at the U.S. But the Afro-Asian group sits calmly on its hands, and on a cloud in the air hangs a box labeled "U.S. Economic and Financial Aid."
I would hate to feel, though, that the only thing that keeps the Afro-Asian people from joining Cuba is that economic and financial aid. Real friendship depends on something much more warm and tangible than handing out so many dollars. Of course, such action may achieve the results desired, but then it may fail for many, many reasons.
It is good that we can give economic aid, but I think it is much more important to stress the growing understanding developing between our people and other peoples of the world. Money alone will not win for us cooperation and an appreciation of the values of democracy. And these two goals are what we hope to achieve when we give any kind of aid or enter into any cooperative venture with other nations in the world.
The Peace Corps, which is slowly taking many of our people into many other parts of the world, should in the next few years bring home to us a much better understanding of the real needs of other peoples.
I have just received a kit entitled, "1962 Freedoms Roll-Call," which was sent by the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pa. There is a paragraph in the letter accompanying it that I would like to emphasize to everyone today. It reads:
"There are only two ways to work to meet the challenge of communism; one is through anti-communism activities. The other is through pro-Americanism pursuits. Freedoms Foundation follows the latter approach with strong emphasis through its national awards and teachers' medals and programs on schools, students, teachers and parents."
It is good to have this very influential group emphasize the positive side of patriotism. It seems to me more and more evident that we must learn to put before the world that which is good in America. We cannot hide our failures of democracy, and we should not try to do so. But there is much that has been achieved and much more that can be achieved if we recognize the full values of our past inheritance and of our present opportunities. We have a duty to put before the world the accomplishments of democracy.
By that I do not mean the boasting that some of us frequently do on the subject of the physical ease and comfort of our loves. I mean the real ideals of freedom and justice for which we struggle in our daily lives—our real sensitiveness to the value of every human being and to the need of giving every human being an opportunity to work for his place in the sun.