This I Believe

Sagendorph, Robb Hansell

  • Robb Sagendorph, publisher of "Yankee" magazine and the "Old Farmer's Almanac", describes how his beliefs have deepened since he was young, and states his beliefs that humans are made significant because of their relationship to God, that life is everlasting, and that children have a closer understanding of life than adults.
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Robb Sagendorph is the publisher of The Old Farmer's Almanac, which has been printed continuously since 1792. He lives in Dublin, New Hampshire, where he served for nine years as selectman, and for the past two years as town moderator. A native New Englander, he was the founder of Yankee Magazine in 1935, and for 14 years, its president. Here are the personal beliefs of Robb Sagendorph.
When I was the grand old age of 24, and very wise indeed, I did not consider it presumptuous to write out ten good and true beliefs for my own future guidance. These, I see by notes kept at that time, were paraphrases of what
I had been taught at mother’s knee, with dad’s razor strap, in school, college, church, The Bible, Shakespeare, and—among those forgotten men in today’s successful world—the “before Freud” poets.
There is not as much of the trying and seeking in the beliefs I hold today. Life has become, thirty years later, much more natural and makes a much better meal in being taken as it comes. Love and laughter were not even included in my ten points, nor was the awareness of great forces—realms within, as well as outside of, myself, for which there just aren’t any words in any known language.
But come with me for a moment. We can walk off here, on the edge of a mountain, and look around a bit. Above is space, with many worlds like our own. On the surface of this sphere, just now curving into the ocean, are more than 2 billion souls like us. Does it really matter, I ask, as you stand on this mountain ledge, what I do or think or say? Won’t this universe keep on running pretty much as it is without the help or hindrance of my beliefs? Perhaps so. But I believe that—no matter how comparatively small and insignificant you and I may be in relation to God’s whole—still, to Him, and for His purposes, this relationship between God and ourselves and that between ourselves, remain, if we will, the most important relationships there are.
I have said, “if we will.” By this, I mean we must answer to, and obey, the calls of conscience. This leads to understanding. And in the understanding of life, we realize it is everlasting, that there is no death, that the concepts of love and faith and charity are larger than continents, oceans, and skies. I believe we are born with this understanding. I am certain that my 2-months-old granddaughter, with her love and laughter, tells it to me in her eyes and smiles. She has this knowledge of the universe, which we all crave. Man will never come closer to the truth than in what this little child knows.
But I pause to wonder, in conclusion, if what I have been saying is honest and sincere. Aren’t these just so many words by
which I don’t really abide? Such a personal philosophy can lead but to constant disillusionment. And in fact, I do find myself, most of the time, either just about to fall, or having fallen flat on my face.
But the point is, I believe, that falls or no falls, after a little brushing off and some minor repairs, I am usually ready to get up and go again, and again, and again. And to me, that is living. So much so, I want to quote the first poem I ever placed in my notebooks to call my own. It is by Sarah Williams.
Is it true, oh Christ in Heaven,
that the highest suffer most?
That the strongest wander farthest
and most hopelessly are lost?
That the mark of rank in nature
is capacity for pain?
That the angers of the sinner
makes the sweetness of the strain?
The answer I believe, and always have believed, is yes.
Those were the personal beliefs of Robb Sagendorph, publisher of The Old Farmer's Almanac.