Good Will—The Fact and the Illusion

“The most threatening danger of our times is prejudice, the most urgent need is for good will, not as a pious article of faith, but as a specific and concrete act.”

On January 14, 1962, Rabbi Olan critiqued the Christmas season’s emphasis on good will as empty words spoken but rarely ever acted upon in meaningful ways. The truth is that most people fear the stranger in their midst. For the good of society, we must move beyond our fears and begin to relate to all people with acceptance of who they are and with acts of loving-kindness: real concern for their well-being. Otherwise prejudices will continue to divide us and bigotry will prevail.

“If we are ever to be saved from a collosal explosion of death, we had better move from the pious worship of good will to its practical application in our lives.”

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(Rabbi Olan quotes H. G. Wells.)