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Problems of Humanity - Chapter II - The Problem of the Children of the World
The world war has produced great migrations. Armies have marched and fought in every part of the world; persecuted peoples have escaped from one land to another; welfare workers have gone from country to country, serving the soldiers, salvaging the sick, feeding the hungry and studying conditions. The world today is very small and men are discovering (sometimes for the first time in their lives) that humanity is one and that all men, no matter what the color of their skin or the country in which they live, resemble each other. We are all intermingled today. The United States is composed of people from every known country; over fifty different races or nations compose the U.S.S.R. The United Kingdom is a Commonwealth of independent nations bound together into one group. India is composed of a multiplicity of peoples, religions and tongues and hence her problem. The world itself is a great fusing pot, out of which the One Humanity is emerging. This necessitates a drastic change in our [45] methods of presenting history and geography. Science has always been universal. Great art and literature have always belonged to the world. It is upon these facts that the education to be given to the children of the world must be built - upon our similarities, our creative achievements, our spiritual idealisms, and our points of contact. Unless this is done, the wounds of the nations will never be healed and the barriers which have existed for centuries will never be removed.

The educators who face the present world opportunity should see to it that a sound foundation is laid for the coming civilization; they should undertake that it is general and universal in its scope, truthful in its presentation and constructive in its approach. What initial steps the educators of the different countries take will inevitably determine the nature of the coming civilization. They should prepare for a renaissance of all the arts and for a new and free flow of the creative spirit in man. They should lay an emphatic importance upon those great moments in human history wherein man's divinity flamed forth and indicated new ways of thinking, new modes of human planning and thus changed for all time the trend of human affairs. These moments produced the Magna Carta; they gave emphasis, through the French Revolution, to the concepts of liberty, equality and fraternity; they formulated the American Bill of Rights, and on the high seas and in our own time and day they gave us the Atlantic Charter and the Four Freedoms. These are the great concepts which must govern the new age with its nascent civilization and its future culture. If the children of today are taught the significance of these five great declarations and are, at the same time, taught the futility of hate and war, there is hope of a better and happier as well as of a safer world.

Two major ideas should immediately be taught to [46] the children of every country. They are: the value of the individual and the fact of the one humanity. The war boys and girls have learned from appearances that human life has small value; the fascist countries have taught that the individual is of no value except in so far as he implements the designs of some dictator. In other countries, some people and some groups - through hereditary position or financial assets - are regarded as of importance and the rest of the nation as of little importance. In still other countries, the individual regards himself of so much importance and his right to please himself of so much moment that his relation to the whole is entirely lost. Yet the value of the individual and the existence of that whole which we call Humanity are most closely related. This needs emphasizing. These two principles, when properly taught and understood, will lead to the intensive culture of the individual and then to his recognition of his responsibility as an integral part of the whole body of humanity.

We have touched upon the physical and psychological rehabilitation of the children and youth of the world. We have suggested that the textbooks be rewritten in terms of right human relations and not from the present nationalistic and separative angles. We have also pointed out certain basic ideas which should be immediately inculcated: the unique value of the individual, the beauty of humanity, the relation of the individual to the whole and his responsibility to fit into the general picture in a constructive manner and voluntarily; we have sought to have the futility of war, of greed and aggression emphasized and that we prepare for a great awakening of the creative faculty in man once security is restored; we have noted the imminence of the coming spiritual renaissance.

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