THE trouble with our world is that we look down more than we look up. We look to the earth and earthy things for our happiness in place of educating the higher instincts of man. This always leads to fear thoughts.
When a nation or man gets anything worth having, the first thought that comes is fear that it will be lost. Then comes the thought of guarding it; nations build Dreadnoughts and rich men have one or two detectives to follow them. The joy is in the chase for riches, the fear comes when they are secured, and often the fear of loss is greater than the pleasure of possession.
This is because we look to earth too much. There can be no loss unless it be that manhood and sunshine are taken out of our lives; if they remain, we have suffered no loss.
England, Holland and now the United States have done much to civilize the world and to give to distant lands good stable governments. Never mind if there is a strain of selfishness in all this (the commercial spirit); the results are good, and just compensation, good trade, is the reward. It is proper to expect a reward for these blessings.
Now remove the hate and fear thoughts and we have ideal conditions for great world progress and development, and if the wide path of civilization is followed, what will be the reward for such progress as awaits a nation willing to undertake the task of lifting up humanity?
Now, none of this virtue comes from the gun's mouth. It is brain power, heart power, that gives a distant nation as good government as the home country has, -- and often better.
No gun is needed to bring sanitary conditions to cities; no war-ship is needed in the front yard of a nation, to tell it to build schoolhouses in the center of Java. No arsenal belches forth the assurance that a rubber plantation in Borneo is a good commercial enterprise.
No keg of gunpowder ever inspired the building of telegraph and telephone lines or installed mail service to all parts of a protectorate. It was the brain and will that brought these blessings. Destruction never built up anything.
When people do their duty, they need never worry about their being rewarded; the reward is following and will arrive on time. The shackles of war will be broken one by one. Men are poking their heads above the clouds of fear, hate and malice and catching glimpses of true manhood, true brotherhood and the destiny of nations, and are beckoning to the laggards in the march of civilization. Men like Edwin Ginn of Boston are striking types; Baroness Von Suttner is one, Andrew Carnegie is another. The Czar of Russia had a great vision once of the wonderful results of peace, but he suffered an eclipse.
There are no boundaries to Justice; Love has no empire but he mind of man. Charity is not only giving bread and clothes to the needy and building hospitals for the sick, but all up lifting ideas are charity. Good government for weak nations is charity, and the best of all.
We have built an imaginary fence around Central and South America and have put a sign on it: "Foreign nations keep out," and have signed it, "Doctor Monroe." Then we have let the Devil have full swing. It has done the nations no good and we have suffered for nearly a hundred years by the foolish practice.
We frown on bull-fights and cock-fights and then build a ring for bad nations to fight in and say to the world: "Hands off." That is looking down, not up.
Are we a nation of men with hearts and minds or are we only snarling dogs? A dog will allow you to pet him until he gets a bone and then he snarls and shows his Dreadnoughts.
And so it is for our nation. Looking upward we see the great good a canal across Panama will do the United States and the world. This is the dog without the bone. Then as this wonderful work nears completion, we want to affix to affix to our great and noble work a double row of teeth -- forts -- so that we can snarl and if necessary bite. What foolishness! The nations of the world must be so grateful for this work that they would consent to make this neutral ground and agree that no battles should ever be fought on land or sea, within fifty miles of either port.
The Suez Canal has existed for years without forts and is in good health. A Secretary of Peace in the cabinet of the United States would work out a peaceful agreement on these lines, but we cannot expect a Secretary of War to do this. His title would not fit the task; his vision and his desk are filled with plans of forts and fortications.
There is no picture or drawing of peace. It is just a principle. You apprehend it; you cannot print it in colors or nail it to the ground. You cannot hide behind it, but you can live in it.
We will not undertake to put a protectorate over Venezuela or Colombia, yet this could be done without bloodshed, and would bless both of these nations and would treble land values. Investors from all parts of the world would come and build and develop. We hesitate to give good government to Central America, but undertake it with success in the Philippines. We force the head hunters of these islands to drop their delightful occupation and attend school, and we bring peaceful business conditions to all parts of the Philippines, but at the same time allow revolutions in Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
If we resent a foreign government in Central or South America, why not ourselves with Mexico give good government to those nations, since we will not allow others to do so?
There is enough talent in the world to give good government to every section of the earth, where it does not now exist.
The Japanese and Chinese come to our country to learn at our colleges. If men of these countries can come here to get an education, why cannot the leading nations of the world force education on the countries that are not well governed? Think of the hell that has existed in Turkey for centuries; of the thousands murdered, tortured and imprisoned; of the young women forced into a slavery worse than death, and think of Christian, civilized peoples loaning such nations money. The world has tools nearly as potent as Dreadnoughts to force them to respect human laws.
We ought to look up, not down; we ought to look more at the right and not think only of coin that goes in the nation's pocket