In accepting this award this afternoon, I should
like to title the few words I have to say as "Dedication to Man."
Reflection on the thoughts and life-work of a great man brings us to a solemn moment. Such
a moment is this. We are here to rememberto remember the dedication of life of your
late great president Ramon Magsaysay and its world-resounding emphasis on man.
A half century ago an American seer, Edwin Markham, wrote words that were indelibly graven
in the life of the man we honor today:
We are all blind until we see
That in the human plan,
Nothing is worth the making
That doesn't make the man.
Why build these cities glorious
If man unbuilded goes.
In vain we build the work
Unless the builder also grows.
To accept such a sensitive award as this is to accept the challenge
of a life lived for the uplift of mannot only for the citizens of the Republic of
the Philippines but for man everywhere on the globe.
In this era of a world, not "shrunken" but of an ever enlarging world of
communicationa whispering gallery, if you will the challenge takes on a world-wide
aspectthe aspect of man. Since I come from Lincoln's country, I may use his words to
It is. . . for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us . . . that we
here highly resolve . . . that government of the people, by the people, for the people
shall not perish from the earth.
Such a dedication was also that of your great president who now, after a short 57 years,
belongs to the ages.
It was my privilege in the early years of service in China to know the great Chinese
liberator, Sun Yat-sen, who lived many a year with a heavy price on his head because he
was dedicated to manto man's freedom and his inalienable right to life, liberty and
the pursuit of happiness.
In later years I have sat on the floor with the great Gandhi, sometimes meditating with
him on his Monday day of silence, at other times hearing him tell, laughingly, humanly, of
the vast undertaking of the liberation of hundreds of millions in India. He always
differentiated between the sinner and the sinforgiving the sinner but hating the sin
of those who refused justice and freedom to men.
In this sparse line of those dedicated to the service of manman beyond their racial,
religious and national bordersstands your late stalwart president.
I accept this award with the humility of one who has tried to light a candle for physical,
mental and spiritual enlightening in some of the far corners of the earth, for I have
discovered that illiteracy is darkness.
There are stairs of literacy that must be built. It has been my striving to build some of
these stairs of literacy here and there. The stairs are crude and difficult, as the late
Olive Schreiner said hers were, but others will come after me and they will climband
on my stairs. And soon a worlda world half in the darkness of illiteracywill
begin to climb, to make better stairs and finally reach the top step in individual freedom
and development. Man, the child of God, will come into his own.
I have long believed with the oriental wise man, that "it is better to light one
candle than to curse the darkness."