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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Knowledge is power. A nation is no stronger than the educational system it supports. Sometimes we allow ourselves to be tricked by the notion that our material wealth is our strength. Then, in times like these, we come to realize that our real fortitude depends on how deep we mine the minds of men for courage and human understanding. Robert Arthur Evans is a football player, a star tackle for the University of Pennsylvania, but he is something else: son of a vegetable checker in a chain grocery store, and a product of Philadelphia schools, Bob Evans is an example of the richness in human resources which these United States possess. Here’s what he’s come to believe so far.
Does it really matter what one person believes? I think it does. Just as I believe that every single individual can be of great influence for evil or for good in the community in which he lives. I firmly believe in the dignity of every individual, created to the image and likeness of his maker, and endowed by his creator with inherent sacred rights. But every individual who possesses these rights also has responsibility. He has duties. No man lives for himself. He has duties to himself, to his fellow men, and to his God. I believe that every individual must have self-respect if he would have others respect him. He must believe in himself, he must have confidence in himself if he would have others have confidence in him.
I believe in the basic equality of all men, regardless of their race, their creed, or their national origin. But I also believe that the same creator who made us equal endowed us with unequal talents. It is my conviction that, although not every American at this time practices the great American creed of equality, the time will come when fair-minded citizens will take every man for what he is if he can prove to them that individually he is a person of genuine worth, and worthy of respect.
As a youngster, I used to watch football teams line up and play the game. It was nothing more to me than one team winning and the other losing. Later on, when I became an actual participant, I saw that there was more to it all. There was competition of the right sort; there was skill and all the hard
practice that made for skill; there was fellowship; and there was the will to win. There was the thrill of victory, the thrill of achievement, and I think that life is something like that when the game is played right.
No matter what a person’s endowments may be, it is up to him to use his God-given talents to the very best of his ability. It is part of his responsibility to himself, his fellow men, and to his maker. Anything that is worth having should be worth working for. And I thank God that I live in a country where anyone, regardless of his humble beginnings, can set his sights high and then work with all his might toward a worthwhile goal, with all his strength and all his talents.
Over-reliance on self, however, is a dangerous thing when we have the notion that we are everything. I believe that religion should play a vital part in everyone’s life. The recognition of one’s maker and one’s final judge must be part and parcel of life if it is to have any real and true meaning. And the Ten Commandments must be indispensable cornerstones in any building we might call success. We must work as if all depended on ourselves, even if we know in the last analysis, it all depends on God. This I believe. This I firmly believe.
That was the University of Pennsylvania’s 1952 varsity football captain, star Negro end, Bob Evans. In 1959, if all goes well, he’ll be Robert Arthur Evans, M.D. and, we believe, a valuable citizen.