WHAT THIS WORLD NEEDS
(He) is not one man.
He is many men.
Only thus is (he) to be explained.
He is the South Pole of idealism,
the North Pole of realism,
and the Equator of humanitarianism
come together in a single human entity.
He is the deflator of human conceit,
the escalator of the meek.
He is the trumpeting brass and yet
the soft strings of the human orchestration.
He is the gentle rain upon the dry grass
of man’s frustrations, nurturing them into hopes.
He is the cultivator of man’s spirit,
the stimulator of the weary,
the catalyzer for the wicked,
the ennobler of the good. . .
He is The Voice
of those who have no other voice. . .
he has watched humanity pass
before him, as he sat by the road
and looked upon them all, appraising,
gently chiding, sharply criticizing,
rising in crescendo against what he thought
were wrongs practiced by the strong
against the weak, soothingly inspiring. . .
the tired and the weary and the fearful.
. . .he is a landmark, an institution,
a by-word. . .
In physical stature tiny,
thin, academician in presence, in philosophical
stature big, universal, geometric in his
audience. . .
(He) fears no man,
except himself. (He) respects all men,
but those who are struggling against odds
most of all. (He) loves people.
He is not one man.
He is many men.
He is all men.
He is humanity itself,
with its chameleon colors, its oddities,
its goodnesses, its hopes, its fears.
(He) is them all. . .
We hope everyone will . . know (him). . .
and knowing him. . will love him.
(He) is, indeed,
“what this world needs.”
Found in Louis B. Seltzer’s Introduction to “What This World Needs” by John W. Raper, a perfectly dreadful book of “inspiration” that my mother gave to my grandmother in 1945, when Mom was 24. If I had Mr. R’s last name, I’d change it.