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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Mrs. Ella Mae Howey is a Cleveland, Ohio housewife and mother who, since becoming hard of hearing, has worked hard to help others similarly afflicted. The statement of creed in which she gets at the ideas behind this unselfish service won first prize in a contest sponsored by the Cleveland Press. Here is Mrs. Howey.
I believe I can live an abundant life, so I'm dissatisfied with an adequate life. I believe I can be constructively creative, so I'm not content with some accepted ruts of living. I believe these things are possible for me because I believe in a personal, loving God.
Six years ago, I could not have understood that, let alone say it. I never thought or wondered about a belief. Then I learned I had a physical handicap that usually became progressively worse. Self-confidence and inner strength were conspicuous by their weakness, and self-pity took over.
There are times in a life when knowledge of other, heavier burdens is little consolation and comparisons are futile.
At thirty-three with a considerable life expectancy, and a husband and sons whose love and respect I cherished I soon realized two things: I would have to manage this problem or else it would manage me. And what happened was unimportant, but how I accepted, faced, or overcame what happened was very important.
A new eagerness to learn joined my established feelings of inadequacy and doubts. An intensive search that was objective and wary began. What I discovered replaced the air of catastrophe in my life with an air of personal revolution. Developing convictions grow stronger and deeper each year.
I believe that an all powerful God created the universe with a plan easily observed in nature that includes man. That as a human spirit, I enjoy or suffer from a distinctive ability to choose. That God's plan is the most exciting, satisfying way to live and requires self-development plus outgoing work. That it calls for unfamiliar self-disciplines but results in expanding horizons and greater happiness. That to pray for my will to be done is presumptuous and impractical, but to pray for God's will and be willing to accept it in my life, is realistic and right. That try as I may to avoid it and I have tried any improvement must start within me. That to perform good works in public and win ego-comforting praise is meaningless unless my family receive the best of my kindness, patience, and love.
That the alternative is to discount God, for believing these things I can find no straddling position.
To practice and study for physical and mental skills or artistic techniques seems very logical. But I admit it surprised me to learn that an understanding and awareness of God takes the same kind of consistent practice and study. But soon, it too made sense. My continuing choice of God's will and unending search to understand God better, have helped reveal unsuspected abilities and strength in my own life. Recent achievements, though insignificant to the world, surpass anything I would have dared outline for myself.
This indicates to me the potential power and possibilities available within all human spirits waiting only for faith, initiative, and energy.
These six years have been demanding, yet joyous. And after a glimpse of the dynamic living and potential accomplishments in a life, I could choose no other way. Is it any wonder that I anticipate the second half of my life with awe? I'm just beginning.
That was Mrs. Ella Mae Howey, a Cleveland housewife and mother of two sons. She reacted to her own loss of hearing by learning to write and speak to adult education groups on hearing problems.