||7.24.49 Statement to the Press
Garry Davis In a letter to Robert Sarrazac, Secretary-General of the
International of World Citizens, I attempted to explain as simply and honestly as I could
the reasons why, after a year and two months of activity, I now find it necessary to enter
a period of study and meditation. I feel that for me personally a phase of activity is
over which might be considered the birth of world citizenship. The next phase will be more
exacting and demand a higher degree of wisdom and moral courage that I have hitherto
displayed. I shall now prepare for this phase.
I consider the work of world citizenship too important in our world of
cynicism and easy disillusionment to be mishandled, and therefore deceived, by one not
fully conscious of its responsibilities. I feel, by recognizing the need for this period
of study and meditation, that I am just beginning to realize these responsibilities. When
I first started working for world peace, I had unbounded optimism, but confess I was naive
to the point of childishness. This was apparent to everyone but me. My optimism is still
great but it is grounded on concrete observations, rather than on impractical dreams.
The task is of course longer than I first thought. It is a mountain to be
climbed, not a foothill. Had I known this before I started, no doubt I should have
prepared myself more adequately. However, the first ledge has been reached. World
citizenship has spread to the far corners of the earth. I confess in all sincerity this
first ascent for me was often difficult. I was in a strange country, The language barrier
was immense. The role was new. And I was to a large degree mentally and morally
unprepared. But on the whole I must say the results were extremely gratifying and have
increased my faith enormously that world peace is not only possible but is nearer than
most of us think. Two main facts substantiate this viewpoint: first, the rapidity with
which the idea of world citizenship and news in general is spread throughout the world;
secondly, the receptiveness of people everywhere to a proposal for a better world.
So now that the first ledge is reached, I find that personally I must stop,
and make further and more careful survey so as to choose the best path for the next
ascent. This is no way abandoning the climb. Rather it is recognizing its exacting
requirements and preparing for them. The summit is there to be reached. But it will be
reached only by careful planning, resolute determination, and moral fortitude.
I have not given a time limit to this period of study and meditation, for at
present I have no way of knowing at what moment I shall be ready to resume the steep
climb. But because I do feel the weight of responsibility and the pressure of time, I
should presume that a period of two to three months should suffice.
I have often said, and I here say again, that it is not my intention to head a
movement, or to become president of an organization. In all honestly and sincerity I must
define the limit of my abilities as being a witness to the principle of world unity
defending to the limit of my ability to Oneness of man and his immense possibilities on
our planet Earth, and fighting the fears and hatreds created artificially to perpetuate
narrow and obsolete divisions which lead and have always led to armed conflict.
I need hardly mention that I have no monopoly on world citizenship. It is each
man's to claim. And during my absence the International and national Registries will
function, receiving registrations and sending out the World Citizen card. Despite military
pacts of Great Powers, despite sincere but futile attempts of the world's collected
diplomats to deal with our problems of peace and food, despite the unrest, the misery, the
starvation of huge masses of people, indications that we are witnessing the dawn of world
civilization are unmistakable. Tiring of stupidity and oppression, men in the mass are
not-so-slowly finding their unity. But until enough of us declare above the fear of our
petty differences and recognize the common ground on which all men stand, thereby cresting
a common authority to attend our needs, my task will not be over and I shall not be able
to return to the life and work which I personally desire.
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