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A Public Service Message from the American Income Life Insurance CompanyExecutive offices, Waco, TexasBernard Rapoport, Pres. imperceptibly and suddenly become united hopefully united and dangerously united. So that a concussion or an infection in one part is almost instantly transmitted to other parts, which sometimes have no immunity at all against it. Humanity has become one but not as a community or even a nation used to be united in a state of stability: not as a result of gradual life experience, not through the sight of one’s own eye which was jocularly called blind, not even through one’s own native and comprehensible language but instead, across all the obstacles and barriers, by the international radio and press. Down upon us rolls a tidal wave of events. Half the world learns in one moment about their appearance, but the standard for measuring these events and evaluating them in accordance with laws of the parts of the world unknown to us is not carried and cannot be carried by the ether or in the newspapers. These standards have been established and accepted for too long and in too special a way in the isolated lives of separate countries and societies. They cannot be communicated instantaneously. And in different regions different, particular, hard-won scales of values are applied and judgment is delivered uncompromisingly, audaciously, solely on the basis of one’s own values and not on that of others. And though there are not necessarily a multitude of such scales in the world there are at least several: a scale for events close at hand and a scale for events far distant; a scale for old societies and one for the young, one for those well off and another for those which are not. The dividing lines are so startlingly different, so varied in color, that they hurt the eyes, and so as not to feel the pain we brush aside all those values which are not our own as if they were crazy, or would lead us into delusion and we judge the world self-confidently on the basis of our own household values. And, as a result, the things which seem to us to be larger, more painful, more insufferable are not those that really are so but those that are closest to us. Everything which is more distant and does not threaten this very day to roll across the threshold of our home is seen by us with all its moans, stifled screams, destroyed lives even when millions of victims are involved as being by and large endurable and within tolerable dimensions. In one hemisphere, amidst persecutions which yielded nothing to those of ancient Rome, hundreds of thousands of silent unheard Christians sacrificed their lives for their faith in God. And in the other hemisphere a certain madman \(no doubt religion with a blow of steel directed at the pontiff. On the basis of his values, he arrived at this decision for all of us! What by one standard seems from a distance to be an enviable and blessed freedom, by another scale close-up is perceived as a vexatious compulsion which stimulates us to overturn buses. What in one region would be dreamed of as a totally improbable prosperity, in another arouses outrage as savage exploitation that calls for an immediate strike. Various values exist for natural catastrophies: A flood which takes two hundred thousand lives seems less important than a local accident. There are different values for personal insults; in some places even an ironic smirk or a gesture of dismissal is a humiliation while in other places cruel beatings are regarded as nothing more than a bad joke. There are different values for punishments and for evil deeds. According to one measure a month of arrest, or of exile to the country, or confinement in a “punishment cell” where the prisoner is fed on white rolls and milk, shake the imagination and flood the newspapers with rage. And by another, prison terms of twenty-five years and punishment cells with icy walls in which prisoners are forced to undress to their underwear, and insane asylums for healthy people, and shots fired by border guards into countless unreasonable people who are for some strange reason trying to escape all these things are quite ordinary and forgivable. And the heart is quite at ease with that exotic land about which in fact nothing at all is really known, from whence no news of any happening reaches our ears, except only the tardy and trivial conjectures of a few correspondents. And for this dichotomy, for this dumbfounded lack of grasp of someone else’s far-away grief, one cannot reproach human eyesight: That is the way man is. But for humanity as a whole, squeezed into one glob, such mutual lack of understanding carries the threat of a quick and stormy death. Given the existence of six, or four, or even two scales of values there can be no one world, no single humanity: We will be torn apart by this difference in rhythm, this difference in oscillation. We will not survive on one earth, just as no man can survive with two hearts. V But who is going to coordinate these scales of values and how is it to be done? Who is going to create for all mankind one single system of values for evil deeds and good deeds, for what is intolerable and what is tolerable, and where the boundary between them lies today? Who will make clear for mankind what is really unbearable and heinous and what, because of its nearness to us, is only a scratch on the skin and, thus, direct our wrath against what is really terrible, and not merely something close to us? Who might be capable of communicating such understanding across the barrier of personal human experience? Who might possibly be able to instill in the narrow, stubborn human essence the grief and joy of others who are far away, a perception of a range of facts and delusions which they have never experienced themselves? In this, propaganda, coercion and scientific proof are equally powerless. But fortunately the world possesses a means to this end! It is art. It is literature. A miracle is within its power: to overcome man’s liability of learning only by personal experience, unaffected by the experience of others. From man to man, filling up his brief time on earth, art communicates the whole burden of the long life experience of another being with all its hardships, colors, juices, recreating the experience endured by another human in the flesh permitting it to be absorbed as one’s own. And even more, much more, that this: Whole countries and continents repeat each others’ mistakes after a time, as it can happen even now, in an age when, as it would seem, everything is clearly visible! But no: What some peoples have already suffered, considered and rejected, suddenly turns up among