Programme of Action
Focussed, determined, enlightened public opinion is the most potent force in the world. It has no equal, but has been little used. The gullibility of the average citizen, their willingness to accept what is told them if it is said loudly enough and with sufficient plausible force, and especially if supported by one-sided evidence, is well known. The well-turned phrase of the trained politician, intent on personal selfish purposes, the arguments of the silver-tongued demagogue as he or she exploits some pet theory at the expense of the public, and the rantings of the person with a cause, a theory or an axe to grind, all find an easy audience. Mass psychology and mob determinations have been exploited down the ages, for the unthinking and the emotional are easily swayed in any direction, and hitherto this has been turned to their own advantage by those who do not have the best interests of humanity at heart. It has been used for selfish and evil ends far more often than for good.
But this negative receptivity (which does not deserve the name of public opinion) can be as easily turned to good ends as bad, and to constructive measures as to destructive. Planned direction and a wisely outlined programme with this in view can bring about the needed change and make a sound and intelligent public opinion one of the major factors in bringing in the new age.
The major task of the men and women of goodwill is therefore an educational one. They hold and advocate no miraculous solution of world problems but they know that a spirit of goodwill, particularly if trained and implemented by knowledge, can produce an atmosphere and an attitude that will make the solving of problems possible. When people of goodwill meet, no matter what their political party, nation or religion, there is no problem which they cannot eventually solve, and solve to the satisfaction of the various parties involved. It is the production of this atmospere and the evocation of this attitude which is the principal work of the men and women of goodwill, and not the presentation of some cut and dried solution. This spirit of goodwill can be present even where there is fundamental disagreement between parties.
The service of any man or woman of goodwill can conveniently be considered under three headings.
It is essential for everyone to realise that, as an individual, they are a definite and integral part of the whole, and have therefore a very real sphere of influence. It is impossible to give useful service if we are oppressed by a sense of futility and are not really convinced that what we do makes any real difference. We must next recognise that unless we discipline and train ourselves, we shall fail to take full advantage of the many opportunities for service that will come our way. On the basis of these two recognitions, each man and woman of goodwill can plan a simple but definite programme to increase their usefulness, as follows:--
Life of Service
No matter what the individual's circumstances, environment or job may be, it provides many opportunities for the life of service. Service is essentially the spontaneous expression of soul contact. The meeting of human need and the creation of a world understanding within our immediate circle and environment is one of the first responsibilities of each man or woman of goodwill. The following suggestions form the basis of a programme that could be the starting point for a life of expanding usefulness for any individual of goodwill:--
This is a simple but effective basis for a programme of goodwill action. Many men and women of goodwill are already working along these lines. Their numbers can be rapidly multiplied. In playing our part we should remember the dangers of fanaticism and the need for personal discipline and preparation. It is not difficult to formulate large and unrealistic plans for world progress and betterment and, as many do, seek to impose thcir vision of what the world should become on others. The need today however is for dedicated servers who will cooperate, under impression from the soul, with the divine plan as it seeks to work out.
There is a dearth of effective leadership today in the ranks of people of goodwill. This is well illustrated by the fact that whenever a person of ability and dedication offers their services and time to an organisation, he or she is very quickly given responsibility. Opportunities are as varied as the abilities of those who offer help. Organisers and administrators; teachers, lecturers and discussion group leaders; writers; investigators, information specialists and research workers; and the many people who, though they have no specialist skills, are able to help keep a group alive, creative and forward looking are all needed.
Those who recognise the need for goodwill workers and who train themselves for service, find expanding opportunities open out before them. What begins as a spare time activity can become, if the individual is suitable and the need sufficiently great, an all absorbing life task. Goodwill work, in its many forms, should increasingly provide vocational opportunities for those who are prepared to take the steps and make the sacrifices necessary for a life of world service.
This pamphlet is issued as an act of service by World Goodwill. World Goodwill is a worldwide movement helping to establish right human relations through the constructive power of goodwill.
World Goodwill is an activity of the Lucis Trust, a non-profit, taxexempt, educational corporation founded in 1922.