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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. Dwight Taylor is one of Holly wood’s leading screenwriters. His mother, Laurette Taylor, was a famous actress and both his father and step-father authored popular plays. He grew up in an atmosphere where his talents were quickly recognized and encouraged. From drawing and writing books and short stories he went to plays and movies and has worked for Hollywood ever since. This is Dwight Taylor’s creed.
I believe in God and in His Commandments. I believe in “love thy neighbor,” and doing to others as you would have them do unto you. But I also believe that due to the frailty of human nature, this approach to life cannot be maintained without a hard core of religious belief and practice to make it work. In listening to these broadcasts, I’ve been impressed by the similarity, not the divergence, of the opinions expressed. Most men seem to agree that the virtues we should seek to obtain are faith, brotherly love, and courage. If agreement as to what is needed could solve our problems, we would have universal peace tomorrow.
It is how these virtues are to be cultivated which always proves to be the stumbling block, and I’m convinced that it always will be until man acknowledges a Supreme Being and the necessity of prayer. Men without God are like children without a parent: each one claims to be his own authority, and the nursery is soon in a shambles. We are inclined to be so impressed with our accomplishments in the fields of science that many of us have come to look upon this world as some kind of gigantic mechanical toy that works on a series of set principles which, once discovered and controlled, will lead us to happiness and salvation. But science is chiefly concerned with what things do under various circumstances, and to a certain extent how they do them.
Yet, “why?” is the first question a child asks.
When I was a young man, I read of an old lady in Scotland who had succeeded in levitating tables in broad daylight, under strict test conditions, before a group of hardheaded scientists from the University of Edinburgh. I was so impressed with this report that I rushed to a distinguished physicist friend of mine and suggested that he take the next boat for Scotland. If this is true, I said, we will have to alter our entire habits of thinking. It is a clear example of the triumph of mind over matter. “But Dwight,” he said, “I’m still trying to figure out why a table stays on the ground.”
That was a turning point in my entire thinking.
Like most of us, I was inclined to overlook the daily miracle of living. Living is so natural to us that we seldom subject it to the inquiry which it deserves. I would suggest to anybody who is vague in his mind about God and what he actually does believe, to try the experiment of getting up tomorrow morning and facing the day with a determination not to take that day as a matter of course; to try to detach himself from his regular habits long enough to begin to wonder what makes him tick. Not that he will get anywhere, anymore than science has gotten anywhere in this regard. But it may help to indicate to him how little we actually know about our existence, how humble we should be in the face of our ignorance, and how grateful for the gift of life.
Not until that feeling of gratitude is well felt and seeks to express itself to the giver of life, Himself, will we learn to function properly, one with another. I think this is the whole purpose of living, and I believe this is what is meant by the words of the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
There the beliefs of Dwight Taylor of Hollywood, California who writes for the stage and screen.