The world horizon, from the perspective of this newspaper in its 75th anniversary week, is full of promise. The globe has known 40 years of ''peace'' among the major powers. Economies of developing countries are bringing millions of families to the threshhold of sufficiency. Secondary cities in the United States and abroad are becoming important regional centers that approach their capitals in culture and enterprise.
There are dangers, too, of course. Like tectonic plates of the earth's crust still slipping in adjustment to powerful unseen forces, the racial, religious, and political tensions of the globe's peoples continue to erupt in terrorist, guerrilla, and open military clashes. The danger of nuclear war, which threatens to wipe out civilization's gains and subject humankind to a post-Holocaust dark age, has come to symbolize the combined evil of scientific advance without moral control, the potential impotence of diplomacy, and the limits of unaided human intelligence to penetrate the fears and distrust of the superpowers.
And there is human suffering.In Africa, many nations still fail to raise enough food to feed their people. Often the problem is not only drought but mistaken government attempts to boost development at the expense of investment in agriculture. Debt burdens remain from the past decade's oil price hikes. Many nations still grope toward sure leadership and self-governance after colonial rule.
In Asia, nations like Korea and Vietnam and China, with histories and cultures longer and as proud as the West's, labor under a double burden: They must endure the political and military tension of the modern ideological struggle between communism and democracy, and they must launch into the modern production revolution in which Japan has become the region's major power.
In the Hispanic Americas, the twin ideological and economic challenges of Asia are repeated, along with the human rights issues of repression. US and other hemisphere governments face a trying political dilemma: How far should they foster internal rebellion or support repressive regimes - short-range intrusion which undermines US respect abroad - for the sake of possible longer-range security for democracy in the hemisphere?
In the Middle East, strife in Lebanon, Cyprus, and Iran-Iraq reflects the unresolved conflicts among the numerous Muslim communities plus the Jewish and Christian cultures and states. In Europe, the path of the Iron Curtain can still be seen from the air, a grim military scar down the countryside.
All this, and yet as viewed through the window of the past three-quarters of a century, the globe has survived two major wars, communications and electronic and other revolutions - it has been through a lot, has changed, and overall, has progressed. The frequency of travel abroad; the waves of culture in music, the arts, science, and learning which seem to move instantaneously across the oceans; even the televised satellite weather photos show how we today can scrutinize larger chunks of the world. It is not so much shrinking as our capacity to comprehend, while still too limited, is growing.
Who would choose to go back even 5 years - or 25 or 50 and miss the next quarter century with all its challenges - to repeat the past?
This newspaper, while reflecting America's characteristic optimism and sense of democratic mission in the world, has since its early days been an ''international daily newspaper.'' From its founding in 1908 by Mary Baker Eddy, it has looked outward and ahead toward the realization of grander achievements for all peoples. In proportion to our resources, we have always put a greater emphasis on this wider view. In tone, we have sought to be radical in affirming the truth, mediating in partisan disputes. In thrust, we take comfort and strength in the sense of a divine power leading the race, individually and collectively, forward.
In this Thanksgiving week, a favorite verse puts the Monitor's pilgrimage well: O Life that maketh all things new, The blooming earth, the thoughts of men; Our pilgrim feet, wet with Thy dew, In gladness hither turn again. . . . The freer step, the fuller breath, The wide horizon's grander view; The sense of Life that knows no death, - The Life that maketh all things new.m