Much hope is placed in our efforts around the world to educate the youth in international perspective and attitude. Learning to believe and act as citizens of the world is, in fact, an ambitious ideal; it has been a dream not realized since Aristotle. Why, in fact, cannot the hearts and minds of men be trained for citizenship in “one world”?
The advancement of science and technology has reduced the distance between countries; mass communication is possible over the Internet in the blink of an eye with PCs and smartphones, and radio, newspapers, and cheaply printed books are still in use. You see, our world is getting smaller every day. Perhaps the time will come when common ideas and ideals can spread, and ignorance of each other’s ways will dissipate. The world would then be ripe for days of peace and goodwill.
The following two poems about world friendship are written by Catherine Cate Coblentz and Don Manker. Catherine Cate Coblentz (June 5, 1897 — May 30, 1951) was an American writer, best known for her children’s books in the 1930s and 1940s. She was awarded the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award as well as the Newbery Honor Award. Don Manker, on the other hand, is the poet who wrote “My Hand Shall Know.” Let’s read their poems to convince ourselves that understanding between races is the only hope for lasting peace.
Please help, white hand,
Reach out black,
Mankind has need of every hand,
The world is off the track.
Lift up, brown hand,
Hold up, yellow,
Friendly and eager hands
Each toward its fellow.
Yellow hand, brown hand,
White hand and black,
Link well together,
Now! Swing the world back.
My Hand Shall Know
My country is the earth; my native land
Is any land where I can serve my brother.
My home is anywhere my outstretched hand
Is held in open friendship by another.
It cannot matter if the hand be white,
Or black, or red, or yellow.
In the end it only matters that the clasp be tight;
My hand shall know the handclasp of my friend.
All races, children of my Father’s blood,
Someday shall meet as brothers meet–someday,
In some high moment when the heart, at flood,
Shall run ahead of man and lead the way.