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And now, This I Believe, the living philosophies of thoughtful men and women, presented in the hope they may strengthen your beliefs so that your life may be richer, fuller, happier. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Wade B. Hampton was born and raised in Yadkin County, North Carolina. For the past forty years, he has been practicing law in Washington, D.C. An attorney achieves the facility to examine documents and other people with clarity and justice. Now Mr. Hampton takes time out to examine himself with objectivity, to pull together the convictions he has arrived at in his sixty-five active years.
In deep humility, I am bold enough to record here some of the firm convictions I have acquired as student, citizen, and lawyer during a fairly active life of sixty-five years. I challenge each of my listeners to undergo this program of self-examination. It will be difficult and perhaps disappointing, but it can be revealing and rewarding, and will clarify to you what you really regard as supremely important--your real treasures. Incidentally, this is a form of wealth that cannot be diminished by the tax collector.
First, I believe the greatest motivating influence in this world is not preaching or teaching, not the written or spoken word, but the influence of personal example. I believe that in every kingdom of life--animal, vegetable, and mineral--the law of selflessness is the law of life and that the law of selfishness is the law of death;
that when weighed in the true eternal scales, there is no such thing as enlightened self-interest; that as society is now organized, the law of selflessness cannot be translated into life in its entirety; but through the ministrations of religion, it will eventually become the reigning law of life.
I believe that the means employed always determine the nature of the ends produced; that bad means, everywhere and all the time, produce bad ends. I believe that the will to power has been the dominant destructive influence among both men and nations; that humility is the basic need of myself and my generation--the faith to believe that men can be meek and still have power. The answer is the faithful translation into life of the Sermon on the Mount.
I believe that progress is real. I believe that man is endowed at birth by his Creator with certain basic rights, which coming from a source higher than the state must not be taken away by the state; that when he fights for these basic liberties, he is not fighting for something new or alien to himself. I have a firm conviction that the living are dead, except in those moments when their hearts are conscious of their treasures. I believe we live after death, so far as this earth life is concerned, in direct proportion as we have translated the love principle into life. And the love principle, when once released, knows no bounds of time or space and is victor over death itself. I believe that we begin in the afterlife precisely where we leave off in this earth life, in the eternal process of perfecting our personalities. I believe that Jesus of Nazareth and his sacrificial life and teaching has the answer to the ills of this
world, individual and national, particularly his teaching of reverence for human personality, of love of neighbor as much as one's self, but not more.
Finally, I believe that one of the greatest sins I know is the sin of cynicism: lack of faith in human progress; lack of faith in the ultimate perfectibility of human personality; lack of faith that this is a moral universe and that it is key to righteousness; lack of faith in the sovereignty of Almighty God, and that He is ever and forever seeking to mirror His spirit eternally in the hearts of men.
That was Wade B. Hampton, an attorney-at-law in the District of Columbia who, through self-examination, has clarified for himself and others, his treasures of life.