This I Believe
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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. Motion picture director Frank Lloyd is one of Hollywood's pioneers. In 30 years of making movies, he has won three Academy Awards and turned out a steady flow of consistently superior pictures. During World War II, he put his talent to military use, serving as commanding officer of a combat camera unit in the south Pacific. At present, he is under contract to Republic Studio. Here is Frank Lloyd.
At the age of 21, I had my own touring company, in which I was also an actor. After a particularly bad
season, I brought my company back from the Province of Alberta, in the shadow of the Canadian Rockies, to Winnipeg, where I paid off the actors and disbanded the company. I decided to leave the business of bringing theater to the western farming communities to someone else for a season or two. So I went to Regina to spend what was left of my money and have fun.
One night, with just a handful of coins left in my pockets, I went to the theater. After the first act, an usher told me the company manager wanted to see me backstage. The manager told me he knew of an opening in a touring company, and the next day, I received a railroad ticket to join them. In that company, in the city of Edmonton—the northernmost point in Canada where an acting company could play—I met the girl who would become my wife.
The course of my life would surely have been entirely different, if I had rejected the guidance that came to me then. Oftentimes with success, we do reject it. We become arrogant. When we flout principles we know to be correct, payment must always be made. I know that when I have wasted the things that God has given me, I’ve had to pay.
I believe that we have been given a strong sense of right and wrong. When we transgress against the divine rule, regret engulfs us. A mind filled with regret and disgust for acts committed is worse than a body on the rack, because the physical torture of the rack must, sooner or later, end. But the regrets of the mind, never.
I feel no doubt about the existence of God. When I think of the human form, put together in such a miraculously perfect way, I know that a supreme intellect must have executed it. The repetition of the pattern—two arms, two legs, two eyes—appears again and again through the miracle of birth. In God’s creation, the setup is perfect; the model is perfect. But sin and evil move in and ruin it.
I believe that religion is innate in man. Else, why would the earliest explorers, before a written word was transmitted, find that savages had religion and faith? Maybe a tower of stones, perhaps the trees or a river, but always a belief which acknowledged a supreme being.
I believe in an afterlife. I look at a man worth millions, and I look at another chap just as kind, just as intelligent, who just barely gets by. When I look at these two men, I know that the race has not yet been run. There is a final accounting. We come into the world with nothing but the love of our immediate families. We take nothing with us but our record on earth.
I believe that man, created in the image and likeness of God, is destined for something other than a black vacuum after death. I like my fun, and I’ve sinned in my time. And when I’ve sinned, either by omission or commission, I have paid. When I have accepted divine guidance, I’ve been rewarded.
My thoughts and beliefs sound stark and unadorned, now that I’ve put them down. As a young fellow, I should have been asked for my beliefs. It seems I was afraid of nothing, and knew everything. That’s another wonderful thing about the wisdom of God. When we are so terrifyingly young, God wisely gives us a burgeoning courage to face the long road of life. I have arrived at my belief after years of living. And as ever a man before and after me, I shall only pass this way once.
That was Frank Lloyd of Hollywood, California. His motion picture direction has won him three Oscars and a distinguished place in film history.