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What Next

1919

The world is coming out of a four years' nightmare. Although still bewildered, we ask, "What next?" This question we must answer. It is depressing to reflect upon the awful sacrifices of these years. Regrets and more regrets paralyze human effort. What next? Our first duty is to consider present conditions. Are we prepared to meet them? Have we the necessary knowledge for doing the work of tomorrow? We know that selfishness and ignorance brought about this work catastrophe. What next? Shall we sleep on, believing that somehow we can escape another catastrophe, or shall we awaken to a realization of what we must do in order to be saved from destruction?

At this moment the signs of the times are perplexing. In America, we are in danger of our own strength. We are in danger of thinking that our resources are inexhaustible. We have indulged lavishly in borrowing billions of dollars from ourselves. What next? We must devote half a century or more to discharge this debt. This is a colossal task. Out of our yearly earnings this debt must be paid.


Source: Newton, Roy, editor. Life and Works of Woodbridge N. Ferris. (Big Rapids, Michigan: n.p., 1960), 159.


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