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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Doctor Arthur E. Gill of Silver City, New Mexico recently retired after fifty-one years in the practice of medicine. During that time, in addition to healing the people of his community, he served with the Army and with the Veteran’s Administration. This is Doctor Arthur E. Gill’s creed.
I believe in youth and its dreams. When a little boy told me that his toy plane pierced the sound barrier and flew to the moon, I believed him.
When a little girl assured me that a pat of mud in a broken dish was a delicious pudding, I knew it was true. When those little dreamers attain mature stature, some creative genius will begin to fashion their dreams into reality—in a test tube or a blast furnace, in a Bill of Rights or a poem, in the majestic measures of a symphony.
Civilization is the sum of men’s dreams. It is a palimpsest of new chapters over old, telling of man’s painful crawl up through the ages. The beautiful Nike of Samothrace was embedded in a rough ashlar until a dreamer’s chisel brought her to light. The soaring towers and swinging cables of a great bridge blossomed out of dreams.
There is dreamery in the powered marvel that harvests the fields, so that sweating gleaners may stand and look up. A dream came true when earth-bound man loosed his bonds and soared into the mysterious blue. Because of dreams, a voice can circle the earth in a few minutes. How many times has man been halted at a crossroad, challenged to choose the right way or sink back into dreamless oblivion to survive by instinct only? How many times have dreamers found the straight road?
When evil stalked the earth, a young man of Galilee walked in a garden to dream of His ordained immolation and give us the divine code of Gethsemane.
When black death and cholera and yellow fever and diphtheria scourged the world in pestilent fury to decimate whole populations and cast mankind into gloomy despair, dreamers with their microscopes and culture tubes found the way upward to new hope and faith.
Again, civilization stands at a crossroad, for man has learned that the power locked in the atom, if released in fury, can pulverize the world. Again, civilization is challenged to find the straight road or commit self-destruction. At this crossroad, that little boy, grown to a man, was summoned to pay a soldier’s debt in Bataan or Normandy or on Heartbreak Ridge.
When his hour struck, the last drop of the blood in him that lived gave up the light of his last mortal ember to his faith in our founding fathers, to his dream of home and peace. That boy’s sacrifice was not in vain. The atom will be bridled and put to service to fulfill the most sublime dreams with blessings that will adorn civilization for centuries to come.
Man is now challenged to employ and control the unused talents of his turbulent mind. That all may stand in unity, tolerance, and peace when fear shall yield to faith that is food and raiment for the soul of man. The rhythm of civilization will ever be upward.
It can never achieve a final consummation, because it is a substance of dreams that have no ending, for youth, in its faith, will always dream. This I believe.
That was Doctor Arthur E. Gill. A native of Wisconsin, he graduated from the University of Colorado and moved to Silver City, New Mexico for his health. He was honored recently by the doctor’s of that community for his more than half-century of medical practice.