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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. Louis L. Austin was born in poverty and raised in an orphan asylum. For forty years he fought for success, money and position. Broke in nineteen-thirty-two he changed his whole philosophy of life and lived his new beliefs. All he had previously fought for and failed to get came to him. Here are the beliefs of Lou Austin who runs one of the world’s most unique inns, never publicized, in the mountains of West Virginia.
I believe life is a natural turning toward happiness as children naturally turn to play.
I believe we are meant to live a full, rich life, in vigorous health, at peace with ourselves and our fellow man.
I believe there exists within every human being an unlimited capacity for joy, achievement, love and peace of mind. I believe this capacity is born of the Creative Spirit that created man, created the universe, and sustains both. I believe that you, like myself, are part and parcel of that Creative Spirit.
I had not always believed thus. In my first forty years, I believed I stood alone. In the pursuit of success I had gotten myself in a hopeless business tangle, which threatened me with ruin and disgrace.
When, ten years later, I emerged as owner of the property involved, I paused to analyze the factors that had delivered me from disaster and presented me with so wonderful a promise.
What I saw in my mind’s eye was a jigsaw puzzle all put together, every piece necessary to give me this opportunity and I had not laid a single piece! For the first time in my life I recognized that a power greater than my own was dominant in my affairs.
It came to me then that every man is a partnership made up of one: his visible self, and two: an invisible spirit, the spirit of his Maker.
Everything in the workaday world since has made my conviction unshakable that the Creator made man for the purpose of living in partnership with Him.
Man has an important place in that partnership. Our Partner needs us as we need Him but our place is not in the number one spot. We are His hands and feet, following His guidance.
I believe all our difficulties, physical and mental, stem from disregarding, knowingly or unknowingly, the Creator’s part in sustaining the life He has given us.
Through our Partner’s guidance and inspiration, we are able to do more work and do it better than when we delude ourselves we are doing the work alone. I believe everyone who has ever accomplished anything worthwhile knows that the deed was achieved not by him but through him.
Did not Christ himself say: “The things I do, I do not of myself. It is the Father within me that doeth the works”?
Was He not also saying to us: “You are greater than you know. You are a living, working partner of the Creative Power that sustains the universe”?
Our Maker gave us two hands; one to hold to Him, the other to our fellow man. If our hands are full of, or struggling for, possessions, we can hold to neither God nor humanity. If, however, we hold fast to Him who gave us life, who is our ever-present Partner, His loving spirit will flow through us and out to our neighbor. That is the way to joy, love, achievement and inner peace.
Surely, if we love our children, we will teach them the simple truth of their own partnership with God. Therein lies their only real chance for a happy, fruitful life.
Those were the beliefs of Lou Austin, an unusual innkeeper of West Virginia.