Sunday, May 15, 2016

PHOENIX and GOLDEN RULE (9) My perspective

   After the protest there would be a lot of hostile letters to the editor of the Honolulu newspapers. One woman attacked Skipper for my participation in the protest: "Only an animal would take its own offspring into danger."
     But I went by choice.
     "Another problem had just been solved:" Dad wrote in The Forbidden Voyage, "the question of Jessica--should she go with us? If not, what do we do with her? Not knowing just how unpleasant conditions might get out there, we very seriously considered leaving her in Honolulu, and wrote Barbara's mother abut coming out here to take care of her. However, Jessica would have no part of that. She insists on going along, regardless of the outcome. She pointed out--a bit unfairly, I think--that during the past four years she has several times been in situations of which the Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children might not approve--aground on a reef off the north coast of Australia, for instance, or caught for four days in an Indian Ocean cyclone, or approaching New York Harbor in a thick fog (the essence of unpleasant situations)--and somehow we'd always come out all right. She couldn't see why this venture was particularly different.
     "When the discussion was at its warmest, Jessica suddenly said, 'Remember, it's my world too, and I have a right to fight for it just as much as you have.' Barbara and I were suddenly silenced. We realized that we had quite underestimated our fourteen-year old's grasp of the situation. The matter was settled and Jessica goes with us.
     "Jessica has more and more identified herself with the Golden Rule cause. On the day they announced the date of their sailing she went, of her own accord, to her principal at the Washington Intermediate School, and asked that the school be let out to go down and support the sailing of the Golden Rule. For Jessica, who is quite shy, this was a very startling request which must have required considerable courage. In fact, I was amazed when I heard she had done it. The principal refused--which is quite understandable--but beyond this he gave her a tongue-lashing for her stand in the matter.
     "In tears she left the office, but nevertheless on the appointed day she was 'absent without excuse' during the morning, and had to make the rounds of her teachers with her reasons for being absent."

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