This I Believe

Wooten, Ben

  • Director of the East Texas Chamber of Commerce, Ben Wooten, describe his belief that a divine designer rewards the hard work of individuals devoted to a worthy cause, and describes how, despite being the son of poor Texan farmers, he succeeded in his career choice as a banker.
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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. Ben H. Wooten is president of the largest bank in the Southwest, director of the East Texas Chamber of Commerce, chairman of the board of several Texas hospitals and colleges, and active in twenty other businesses and organizations. He helped set up the Federal Home Loan Banking System in 1932, and more recently, he served on President Eisenhower's advisory housing committee. His energy and versatility won him the Linz Award for outstanding community service in 1952. Here now are the personal beliefs of Ben H. Wooten.
I believe that there is a divine designer of the universe who carefully brought into being all the laws of nature. I further believe that this same divine designer makes it possible for everyone to be the architect of his own life. The drawing board of time, along with the tools of success or failure, are made available to each of us, and we use them either with or without effort.
Early in life, I took an affirmative approach toward the design of my future. That approach was under-girded with an unswerving belief that God is pleased when an individual succeeds while devoting his time, talents, and energy in an honorable and worthy undertaking.
I was born on a small east Texas sandy land farm. My parents were poor in so far as material assets were concerned. However, they were rich in a faith that convinced me that if I planned well and diligently worked, I could achieve any worthy objective in life. So, with a very firm belief in the outcome, at age seventeen without a cent of money on deposit in any bank by me or any member of my family I decided to be a banker and set about the task of preparation. Of all the vocations of man, I think there is none more requiring earnestness of purpose or fidelity in dealing.
I have always sought to support my beliefs with a pattern of operation and have endeavored to expedite the operation with action.
I am thoroughly convinced that there never was a self-made man, as evidenced by the fact that many times I became in need of help, and at each critical time, some friend, relative, or loved one, would supply the need and give me the necessary impetus.
It is well to be reminded daily of the philosophies by which we live. And there are inscribed in gold letters on the cornice of my office, the following quotations representing my own thoughts: Work is the door to opportunity for those prepared to enter. Happiness is a journey traveled not alone. A friend is a precious possession deserving complete loyalty. Banking must ever be a sacred trust. These inscriptions have become a part of my life.
And although not graphically placed, I know that somehow they were, in the beginning, included in my chart on the drawing board of time.
I believe that work is a great giver of zest to life, that from it emanates dignity, self-sufficiency, advancement, and the fulfillment of dreams. Through work, either physical or mental, wealth is created whereby advantages may be taken of spiritual, cultural, and material values.
I believe that happiness flows from the inside of the individual out, and that it is utterly impossible to be happy without making someone else happy. The happiness we enjoy is a dividend on the happiness we have brought to others. Friendship is a two-way street embodying mutual trust, respect, and esteem. It should ever be the prayer of each of us that God shall make us worthy of our friends.
That was Ben H. Wooten of Dallas, Texas.