This I Believe

Dodge, Dora Estelle


  • Dora Dodge talks about her work with the girls club and the importance of planning and faith.
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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. Dora E. Dodge was born on a farm in Lenox, Massachusetts. She grew up with the conception that life must have purpose, and for the past quarter of a century, she has devoted her life to a career of service. As Executive Director of the Girls Club of Worcester, Massachusetts, she has done much to equip a whole generation of girls, to face jobs as homemakers and mothers, intelligently and with a sense of responsibility. Hear now her personal creed.
I believe that only a life with purpose can truly achieve happiness, and I believe that each one of us must decide for himself if he will share the responsibility of making this a better world. My work has consisted in the building of a program which encourages and guides the development of girls so that they may realize as women their utmost capacity for happiness and service. To accomplish even a small part of this objective is a pretty big order for any individual. But the challenge it presents makes life an interesting adventure.
I could not have undertaken work of such importance without a deep faith in God and His guidance and a planned way of living. I believe it is necessary at the beginning of each day to tune into a great power and find wisdom for the job ahead. I try to put the importance of my work ahead of selfish interests, and while I must keep the job within my own limitations, I hope I shall never be afraid to attempt that which is vital to its accomplishment. I have learned to use materials at hand without wasting time wishing they were different. I can accept surface changes if I remember that fundamentals do not change and that there is a continuous thread binding all earnest endeavor.
I have found satisfaction and happiness in my work, but I believe too in saving time in my day to enjoy beauty of both God's and man's creating and to share those friendships which are refreshing. When evening comes, I believe in taking a quiet time in which to analyze the day that has finished and to take from it the lessons I would carry into tomorrow, so making my failures important even as my successes.
I believe there comes a time in everyone's life when he should crystallize his thinking, even to the point of writing down the way he wishes to live. I did so once in a period of confusion, and it has proven to be my chart for a quarter of a century. It's given me the courage to work hard, the zest to play with keen enjoyment, and the ability to rest deeply. My poem was, in a way, a dedication. I call it Masonic. I give it to you, in part.
Father, today I'll build for thee a temple
Out of the stuff each hour brings to hand.
Wisdom, I ask, to shape it to thy liking
That I may make it fit into thy plan.
Reveal to me the way,
As brick on brick I lay.
And when the evening comes, O Master Builder,
Though incomplete the structure planned today,
Only the lessons that my work has taught me
Shall be the tools I choose to put away,
Asking for courage with the dawn
To build another one.
That was Dora E. Dodge, the Executive Director of the Girls' Club in Worcester, Massachusetts, who believes that contentment may be achieved through a purposeful and planned life.