A true philosopher can no more pass by the open door of a free discussion than an alcoholic can pass by the open door of a saloon. Since my hosts have been kind enough to invite me to say what I think, the highest compliment I can pay to their tolerance and liberality will be to do just that. This is not going to be a debate. I would be the most unteachable of mortals if at this stage of life I still believed that one could get anywhere arguing with a dialectician. One might as well attempt to pacify or intimidate a walrus by tossing sardines at him as to bait a philosopher with arguments. I have accepted your kind invitation because I think the subject is worth discussing.
A sense of relationship and copartnership with God involves the concept of universal brotherhood and that will help to develop intelligent tolerance, open-mindedness, and good-natured optimism. Life is really a battle between fear and faith, pessimism and optimism. Fear and pessimism paralyze men with skepticism and futility. One must have a sense of humor to be an optimist in times like these. And you young women will need a sense of humor if you marry these young men and try to live with them. Golden Kimball once said in a conference, "The Lord Himself must like a joke or he wouldn't have made some of you people." But your good humor must be real, not simulated. Let your smiles come from the heart and they will become contagious. You may see men on the street any day whose laugh is only a frozen grin with nothing in it but teeth. Men without humor tend to forget their source, lose sight of their goal, and with no lubrication in their mental crankshafts, they must drop out of the race. Lincoln said, "Good humor is the oxygen of the soul." And someone paraphrased, "The surly bird catches the germ."
If we want more brotherhood and goodwill, more intelligence, more clear thinking, more honesty and sincerity, more tolerance and human understanding we must concentrate upon cultivating these qualities within ourselves. There is a natural progression in social advancement from the individual spirit to the family, to the community, to the nation and to the world at large. The line of progress can move in no other direction. There is no substitute for personal integrity.
AS GOD HAS PLANNED God did not make me in a single hour: He fashioned me for laughter, love, and tears, And as a tree that slowly comes to flower, He gave me time, the blessed gift of years. God did not make me with a single breath: He gave me will to strive and hope and trust, And days for growth, so that the hour of death Might total well, not blow the sun to dust. May I grow graciously, through sun and rain, In tolerance and kindness for all men, And if life's storms should bow my head with pain, Let not my soul be a stunted tree; Let me not fall, but reach toward the stars; And let me grow as God has planned for me.