September Begins at WVRC - the 7th
Let’s face it there’s good news and bad news. This can all be summed up by stating that I’m back from my trip. Moving right along, AL BELANCA led the Pledge, followed by an A Capella rendition of America, gamely presided over by LENNY FRIEDMAN. MYRON TAYLOR filled in with the Invocation, remarking first that he though he was done with all this. And my reaction to his prayer was, You think maybe he’s done this before? As always, MYRON, well done.
There were several guests Prexy MIKE brought Peter Gurgess, who is with Bentwood Asociates, and has visited us before. PP DON NELSON introduced two guests, John Woodall, senior minister at Westwood Methodist Church, and Vida Ash, who is in Real Estate with Coldwell Banker. LENNY FRIEDMAN brought Sunny, for the second week in a row. Special Guest and about to be Circularized Curt Smith (see New Member Proposal below) introduced his assistant, Stacy.
Family Day at the Circus is being offered and the cost is $45. Prexy MIKE has details. We were reminded of the upcoming Paul Harris Celebration, which will be at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. The date is Saturday, November 4th, and we were urged to get both our reservations and raffle ticket stubs in soon. This is an attractive location, and it will be a fun event, so don’t delay, please.
Prexy MIKE offered another story and let’s not forget that he is following one of the best of our sometimes story-telling Presidents. Seems the CIA needed an Assassin, and after much clandestine (that means secret, I think) publicity, they had three applicants two men and a woman. At the interview, the first man was told that he was to follow, without question, whatever instructions he was given. He agreed, and then was given a pistol, told that his wife was in the next room, and he was to go in and shoot her. He couldn’t do it, so he was dismissed. Second man, same instructions, same results. When the woman got her instructions, she entered the room and soon there were numerous shots fired thirteen, in all. After a period of quiet, the sounds of a struggle ensued, and eventually, she emerged from the room disheveled, and still clutching the pistol. Her immediate comment, “Why didn’t you tell me those were all blanks? I finally had to beat him to death with the gun”.
SHANE WAARBROEK introduced our Speaker, Lance Miller. SHANE met Lance at Toastmasters International, where both are members. Lance is the President of The Way to Happiness Foundation International, based in Glendale. They work with organizations in over 100 countries, providing programs in 91 languages, teaching that success and happiness depend on self-respect, applying principles of conduct such as honesty, integrity, tolerance and competence. Their programs run in over 22,000 prisons, 150 drug rehab and education centers, are used by over 800 businesses and have reached nearly 12 million students in 11,000 schools all over America. His subject title is Ethics, Morals and Civilization.
Morals are a code of conduct and they can be compared to our Four Way Test, certainly. But looking back at history, impulse is what you need to survive. Thus, as civilization developed, people learned to control their ‘wrong’ impulses, and thus the world became a safer and happier place. This is an ongoing process, and improvement cannot occur when government is controlled by a few only for their own benefit. Will Durant makes a major point of the need to control impulses.
Ethics is composed of laws, which are enforced by an authority other than yourself. Justice refers to an action taken to maintain order, to keep things working. And penalty equates to punishment if you commit a illegal act, punishment will result. Misery is the opposite of happiness, and is caused by unchecked impulse. Happiness, of course, leads into your future, or destiny.
At the top of the scale of happiness is Ethics, followed by Morals, then by Laws, which are interpreted as Justice, and the bottom of the ladder is Penalty. Lance Miller’s organization teaches people these values.
Remember, it is necessary to disrespect yourself if you intend to disrespect others. He pointed out that he had brought with him copies of their book, The Way to Happiness. This was written by L. Ron Howard, but has no mention of Scientology. I picked up a copy, and it seems straightforward in its advice.
PP STEVE SCHERER, What does your organization propose to help in the Middle East quagmire? Their programs stress education, and they are finding that most people there do not support violence. They have given 3,000 lectures in Israel alone.
YOE, What do you suggest should be done in Mexico with the standoff now taking place? The people need training in Ethics and Morals.
ED GAULD, Why is graft and corruption so prevalent, particularly in the third world countries? It has existed for many centuries, dating from ancient history.
One of our ladies asked, Does chaos always come before a solution begins to appear? In Russia, after seventy years of oppression, they wanted NO rules, and for a period of time, there were none.
PP DON NELSON asked what their source of funding is. Primarily the sale of their book, plus donations.
RALPH BEASOM, Why are there so many criminals? Crimes occur because of a loss of self respect.
A memorable statistic, which some of you may have already heard:
In California (and maybe the whole US) we spend more on prisons than on education.
And a final quote, from Benjamin Franklin:
As a society becomes violent, they need, and accept, masters.