Tape 220 side 2
Question: "Do you consider it advisable or important for IW students to curtail the reading of newspapers?"
Answer: Oh, I could be so mean. (Laughter) Do you really mean newspapers or comic sheets and sport pages?
I think that one of the most important things for people who really have a devotion to the ideals of freedom, justice, equity in life, I believe they owe it to themselves to read at least one or two or three newspapers everyday. But, more especially the editorial page, even if they never get to any of the rest of it. Be posted on what's happening so that when you go to the polls to vote, you don't vote merely because your family is Democratic or Republican or Socialistic. That you vote because you come to a conviction that this candidate or this party really means well for the welfare of the world. And you can't do that without a lot of spiritual praying for guidance and being posted on the issues of the day and the men and women that are in public life of the day.
Certainly, there is no benefit to anybody on the spiritual path to be concerned with that front page headline or the scandal or the comic pages or the sports pages. I don't mean that they're barred out, some of those things are part of life. What I mean is they are not of importance to us, we don't have to read ads except when we're out to purchase something.
But, we must be posted on the events of the day. Why do you think there has been a World War I, II, and III? Only one reason, you cannot make the citizens of this world read newspapers. They buy them, but they don't read the news place which is the editorial page. Or, if they do, they'll read their favorite party's, they'll read if they're Republicans, they'll read all the Republican papers says. If they're Democrat's, they'll read all the Democrats say and then blindly go to the polls instead of reading for awareness, for knowledge realizing that no matter which side they read is biased and prejudiced and that you have to read between the lines in order to know what's what. And, then when you go to the polls, you have an opportunity of perpetuating free government.
If you don't, always remember that 51% of the vote controls. And if 51% of the people do not go to the polls enlightened, it's the 51% of unenlightened ones that control the lives of the enlightened ones. Certainly, read the newspapers, but read the news and the news that affects world conditions.
It doesn't bother who murders whom, or who divorces whom, but it does really mean something to know whether or not we have a good international policy, whether we have good candidates along that line. I think that's important, it has always been in my life.
I will say that the news of the world is one of the important things in my daily life and has been since 1909 when I stood on a street in London and realized that the world was being threatened that day with a war. The war that came in 1914 was threatened in 1909. That's the first time that I awakened to the fact that wars could really come again in world history. I thought we'd outgrown all that, and here was the English fleet and the German fleet lined up against each other in the North Sea and all ready to go. Wiser heads prevailed at that time and it didn't happen. But it did happen in 1914 and it's been happening ever since.
An enlightened people would not have permitted it. Governments couldn't have gotten away with it if there had been an enlightened public. My idea is then that we should enlighten ourselves spiritually and make it practical in human affairs. - Joel Goldsmith