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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. Rosalie D. Spidell is a secretary in the Florida public schools. She is a grandmother and an active member of the Miami Speed Ice Skaters. She studies drama, and occasionally acts with a Miami repertory company. She wrote to me and said, "Sometimes the creed of unimportant people carries a message more potent, perhaps, because there are so many of us." Here now is Mrs. Rosalie D. Spidell.
My religion is founded not only on the things I visualize or understand, but mostly on the things I cannot see. The
tangible things that I hold in my hand are no test, for these I know all what they are. But in the acceptance of the mysteries beyond the depth of understanding, I have found my faith.
This is the trust that I place in both the spiritual and the actual. It is the faith that I have in the pilot at the controls, the engineer in his cab, or the doctor with his scalpel. Though I see the wretchedness in the world, the sordidness of people, the breaking down of moral codes, I still do not believe that virtues are outmoded. By making an unbiased comparison, I’m able to hold on tighter to the principles I know are necessary to living a good life.
I believe that even the greatest losses—people or things—can be a stepping stone to a greater understanding of myself and others.
I cannot wallow in self-pity and so waste whatever talents I’ve been blessed with. But rather, I must rise above the hurts, disappointments, heartbreak, and the feeling of futility. I do not have the right to live selfishly, cynically, or uselessly. Rather, I must try to add something of value to whatever or whomever I come in contact with.
My faith is wrapped up in the quiet of a chapel, the tall lighted candles on the alter, the prayers my mother taught me, the good example that proved the wisdom of guiding my life according to my religion, and in contemplation of the glory that can be found in the world beyond the stars. That there is a utopia across the valley, I have no doubt. It is a living, breathing part of me, and I am convinced of the truths involved and all that they imply. I know that I must constantly pray for the strength to refrain from any act or deed that might jeopardize the reaching of this divine realm, as I am sure that nothing on earth could
ever compensate for the immeasurable loss of it.
My religion stands out like a beacon light, shining radiantly, beckoning me ever-onward toward a goal of contentment and happiness, of peace of mind and heart. From it is born the wish to rise above pettiness, unkindness, lack of sincerity, selfishness, thoughtlessness, and faithlessness. It teaches me to be true, not only to myself and to what I believe in, but also to be tolerant of others and their tenets.
If I plant a seed and it does not grow, I must have the courage to uproot it, replant a new and fertile one that will bring forth growth and fulfillment. To waste emotion, devotion, or development on dead issues, warps my mind and heart and destroys my inner happiness, as the hurt is only to myself, and therefore meaningless.
I’ve learned the difference between the wrong and the right. I have hungered, and I have feasted. I have sorrowed, and I have joyed. I have suffered, and I have healed. I have cried, and I laughed. I have been loved, and I have loved. These things are part of my existence here on earth, and from them I must grow in stature into a being worthy of the gift of the religion which guides my destiny.
This is the religion that teaches me to know and appreciate the sincerity of friends, the beauty of nature, the pleasure of simple things, the bliss of affection, and the adherence to the Golden Rule. This knowledge makes me want to hold my head high, looking ever onward, holding to my heart the most priceless of all my possessions: my faith.
Those were the beliefs of Rosalie D. Spidell, a secretary and grandmother of Miami, Florida.