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And now, This I Believe, a series of living philosophies presented in the hope they may help to strengthen and enrich your life. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Morton T. Jones has been in the insurance business all his life. After graduating from the University of Missouri, and service in World War I, he then became associated with his father and three brothers in the insurance firm of R. B. Jones and Sons. He is now its managing director. In 1929, together with other prominent businessmen, he organized the Kansas City Fire and Marine Insurance Company, which is today one of the leading firms in that part of the country. Active in the cultural and civic activities of his community, he has been, among other things, the president
of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. Here now is Morton Jones.
Americans are accused of being a materialistic race of people, and I expect I'm typical of most of the so-called materialistic businessmen. Yet, when I ask what I believe in, I realize that my sustaining belief was also typical of almost all other Americans.
A little song, which I heard in church many years ago, has constantly recurring to me throughout my life, whenever I have been in need of guidance and moral assistance. These words are my way of expressing my faith, my belief in God: "Lord for tomorrow and its needs, I do not pray. Save me my God from stain of sin, just for today."
I think I was too young when I first heard that poem to know what sin actually was, and my interpretation of it was that sin was a mistake--a mistake of judgment, an error, or a sin of omission--and that believing in God in His infallible judgment would help me solve my daily problems.
As a young man, it carried me through periods of fear and frustration. It consoled me during the First World War, when lying on the cold, muddy frontlines of France, fearful of the dawn attack, I wondered if I had considered every possibility for the assistance and protection of my men. I was frightened, worried. But the prayer that came to me was, "Save me, my God, from stain of sin, just for today."
Yes all my life, I've had comfort and, I think, guidance from this faith in the wisdom of, and help
from, God. And now, when perhaps the most difficult part of my job is dealing with our people, I find that mechanical procedure and technical know-how are of minor importance compared with the human element.
The president of a corporation nowadays has no time to carry the ball. He must sit on the bench and direct the play. His big job is to keep the right players in the right place at the right time. How cold blooded should this executive coach be in dealing out disappointments to those who are unable to keep up with the hard-hitting drive?
Each time, I ask for guidance when these problems arise, because I know that my decision may reach deep
into the hearts of their family lives. Today it is a junior executive, overly ambitious, who puts his hand temporarily in the wrong pocket. Tomorrow it's an employee who has lost his punch and must be asked to step aside. Shouldn't we have detected his weakness long ago? What can we do with him? So I lean heavily on the faith in my old poem: "Save me, my God, from mistake of judgment, just for today."
Winston Churchill has recently said, "It's a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link in the chain of destiny can be handled at a time." I agree with him. I cannot foresee the future, so I must, of necessity, live for today. But if each day I set my own small house in order, if each day I look to God for his guidance, then I need not fear for the future.
That was Morton T. Jones, a Kansas City insurance executive, who has found the wisdom of meeting the problems of living as they arise each day.