This I Believe

Hart, Lawrence


  • George Washington impersonator and insurance agent, Lawrence Hart describes his beliefs: that the world was intelligently designed, that we have been given brains to combat sin and suffering and the desire to help make the world better, that we are responsible for who we are as much as heredity or environment, that truth will prevail over falsehood, that Christ's principals are the finest ever ... read more
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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. Lawrence H. Hart is an insurance agent residing in Metuchen, New Jersey. He has had two unusual avocations. One has been the impersonation of George Washington in performances before schools and patriotic societies. He has appeared before 4,000 such audiences, dramatizing the words of Washington. And, he originated the only concise comparison and evaluation of encyclopedias which has gone through 50 editions in 25 years. He also has issued a similar comparison of dictionaries. Mr. Hart's education was as a civil engineer, and he is a graduate of Ohio State University. He is married, the
father of a son, and he is a grandfather. Here now is Lawrence Hart.
Our lifetime has seen more change than any other hundred years. Many have been shaken to the roots. Cherished beliefs, so recent as those of our parents, have been challenged by new discoveries in astronomy, geology, archeology, physics, and psychology.
But as I pick my way through the jumble of what is said and written, I feel that what has happened is not so much the discarding of old truths, as a change of emphasis, a different attitude, a new approach. Out of the confusion has gradually emerged for me a solid foundation on which I can stand.
I find I can sum up my beliefs under eight headings.
I believe that the beauty, intricacy, and perfection of nature can only be the product of intelligent planning, infinitely superior to the human brain. Therefore, there is a reason for the many things I cannot understand including war, sin, and suffering. And there’s a plan for the future after death, more sensible than any I have been able to imagine.
I believe the creator gave us brains with which to contend against sin and suffering, and also natures that enjoy working on the problems. Each generation makes gains, and this feeling of progress stimulates renewed efforts.
I believe that the creator gave us the urge to function, including the wish to leave the world better than we found it.
Democracy is an expression of that feeling; so is the concept of fair play; so is the helping hand; and the idea that “he who produces shall enjoy the results of his production."
I believe that individual responsibility is quite as important as heredity and environment. I can blame only part of what I am and do on my ancestry and my teachers, but I also demand a share of the credit for my efforts and exertions.
I believe that truth must eventually triumph over falsehood, and right over wrong. I must persist on the side of truth and right, whatever the temporary setbacks may be.
I believe that Christ taught the finest principles for living ever propounded.
I believe that to understand the purpose of it all—to prepare for the inevitable griefs and disappointments—requires study, meditation, and exchange of thought with other people. Hence the need for church services, reading, and thinking is vital.
I believe that after death, I shall be assigned to such duties and privileges elsewhere, as I have prepared for here. That the lessons learned, the experience gained, will be put to some good use somewhere, somehow. Surely what is worth preserving will be preserved.
Supported by such beliefs, I find life is interesting, indeed.
You have heard the carefully articulated views of Lawrence H. Hart, an insurance agent in Metuchen, New Jersey.