This I Believe
Pillsbury, Philip W., Mrs.
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Mrs. Philip W. Pillsbury is president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In addition to her two previous terms in this office, she has a distinguished record of service to the Red Cross, the Community Chest, and many other health, welfare and civic projects. This is Mrs. Pillsbury’s creed.
In trying to write This I Believe, I have been privileged to at least begin to find out what I believe. As I was beginning to put the words on paper, I read my first effort to a close and wise friend. She said, “Why do you put your belief in God first?” My answer is that that belief must come
first if any of the other beliefs can exist.
First, then, I believe in God. That is the name that I need to describe to me that higher power. This was not always so. Until about nine years ago, I was proud of the fact that I believed in nothing other than man’s own ability. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” was a statement the meaning of which I could not recognize. And then I found myself being envious of friends who had resources unknown to me. Those resources were faith and belief.
My time of trying to discover what it was that they had, was guided by one of the wisest men it will ever be my privilege to know. As a minister, he was first a channel through which I could be led to my
own personal road to Damascus. Having at long last been able to hear what I had denied myself, I can now pray that I will never again be so foolish, so incredibly conceited, as to think that one can live alone.
Next, I believe in people. We are here for a purpose, perhaps unknown to us as individuals. But certainly there must be a reason for man’s existence. Because I believe in the goodness of God, I am sure that that purpose is good. We have all been given different talents, different personalities, different circumstances. We are given, or we cause, different sorrows and different joys. If we would have the humility to find out what we have, as individuals, been given, perhaps we can find out what we
should do with these gifts. Strength, help, hope will be given if we ask, if we do our share, and if we are willing to listen.
I have been given certain assets and liabilities. I have done badly with some, and—I can only hope—better with others. Economically, socially, intellectually, I seem destined to be a volunteer in the social and cultural aspects of our community development programs. I have had the inspiration of working with men and woman whose concern for those less fortunate has led them to devote their time and energy to being not part of the problem, but part of the solution. I have always known that I never put into a job what I take from it in personal gain, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual.
My life with my husband and children, my friends and relations, my working associates, is a life that makes me believe in the goodness of life. There are such high hills and such low valleys, but each level is better for the other. In my opinion, it is presumptuous for me to try to explain that which has been given to all of us. And yet, is not the affirmation of our faith, whatever faith, one of our obligations? And in trying to say This I Believe, I have once more known the joy of my faith.
That was Mrs. Philip W. Pillsbury of Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a member of the Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.