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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 7 (October 2, 1939)


page 7


Hope, the “prolific mother of reforms,” is one steady light that must be kept burning through the dark days upon which we have entered. From hope comes the faith that out of the new welter of conflict which has come upon us, some greater amelioration for mankind may be achieved. To that hope all our private desires, plans and ambitions must be directed.

Just how good this world really is, only those who have worked to make it better can apprehend in any true measure. The gardener who converts his small plot to a paradise of flowers and fruit and edible plants learns the goodness of soil and rain, sunshine and air. The engineer who dams lakes and rivers that electric light and power may serve man's needs in country and city alike, also learns how adaptable nature is to human desires. The engine-driver who hauls his freight of passengers safely and happily from centre to centre gets to know what ease of transport can do to extend the bounds of human intercourse. It is the hope that things of this kind can be done that inspires mankind to their doing.

It is the failure of an all-round belief that the world can provide wealth and contentment enough for all that leads to international conflicts. These show how far man is from what Hope indicates he can be, and will be, in the years to come.

How average people live, as individuals, through a long life with no thought but to live with their neighbours in a comfortable and helpful friendship, is a thought to guide the actions and reactions of nations. Why should some of these people, every few years, be withdrawn from the orderly progression of their lives, to kill or be killed by another set of people who, in their own environment, make “live and let live” their ordinary rule of life? Conditions on this planet become easier year by year as we conform with nature's way of betterment.

Is it throwing the loop of Hope too far to believe that, in the not-far-distant future, war will be outlawed by the combined reason of mankind? Or that such outlawry will be enforced by the combined power of all the States, just as individual actions adverse to the common good are outlawed by the guardians of each State? On this hope rests the future well-being of the peoples of the earth, and there is little hope for other hopes if this be frustrated by anger and ill-will between the nations.

The confidence of all thinking people is in good triumphing over bad–that is what we see of nature at work, and that is the hope upon which our people now place their faith, and to which they direct their efforts.