Well, man has walked on the moon and – by the time your reading this – we hope the three space pioneers will be safely back to earth. We actually saw it happen, and yet it almost seems hard to believe. Sixty years ago, there were doubts whether man would even fly, and now there seems to be no limit to what he can do – if he tries hard enough!
And so – where do we go from there? The same computers, which made it possible for the weekend space adventure to come off with split second accuracy, give us other information which we ignore. Computers tell us that if we continue to pollute our air and water at the rate we have been, our grandchildren will have to find something else to breathe and drink! And we can have perfect communication between the moon and the earth and all nations on it, but we are unable to communicate with our neighbors to prevent wars, starvation, overpopulation and discrimination!
We can create life in a test tube, but we can’t cure the common cold. We can safely fly to the moon but haven’t perfected safe cars or highways. The world becomes very sentimental and religious when three men are flying through space in the hands of God, but the same world is divided into nations plotting against each other, each believing that God is on their side and justifying their military acts and retaliations.
Yes, man can do anything. We know it now, but it depends on how badly he wants to do it. Man can solve the human problems that threaten to destroy him – the pollution problem, the wars, the hunger, the lack of mind communication – but he’ll solve them only if he tries as hard as he tried to get to the moon.
Before we start heading for Mars, let’s use the same technical and scientific effort and dollar expenditure to save the world.
A fine organization, the American Legion Auxiliary, recently received a great deal of poor publicity and criticism when they failed to send the elected Governor of Girl’s State, Regina Hicks, to the Girl’s Nation convention. It is unfortunate, for much of the bad news coverage could have been avoided.
In this day when we are striving to eliminate discrimination, it is no longer possible for organizations or even government to go unchallenged simply on their past good records. Newspapers are the leaders in challenging such questionable situations and write their stories on the information available. After that, rumors are added.
In Hicks case, the papers at first had only the statements of Miss Hicks, which made it seem that the only reason she was being rejected was because she would not say that she loved her country and because she was colored. At this time, the Auxiliary would make no statement other than that it was their decision not to send the girl.
It was only several days later, after the bad publicity had mushroomed because of the failure of the Auxiliary to defend itself, that the Auxiliary’s position became known.
There is no doubt that Miss Hicks’ failure to abide by the regulations, her failure to attended scheduled meetings, and her disrespect for the flag were justification for those in charge of Girls State to decide to send one of the other delegates to represent the state. And if the information had been made available to the press immediately, the spectacular aspect of the story would have had much less impact.