This I Believe

Dearborn, Ned H. (Ned Harland)

  • Ned Dearborn, president of the National Safety Council and former dean of the Division of General Education at New York University, talks about the importance of faith in overcoming adversity and describes the many things in which he places faith, such as religion, the goodness of people, himself, and he concludes by describing his faith in faith itself.
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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. Ned H. Dearborn is the president of the National Safety Council. This is the organization that tries to keep accidents from happening by teaching us all how to prevent them, on the highways and elsewhere. Born on a farm near Connellsville, Pennsylvania, Mr. Dearborn is a graduate of Columbia University. Before joining the Council, he was a dean of the
Division of General Education at New York University. Here now is the creed of Ned Dearborn.
While both experience and formal education have conditioned me to modern logic, I find it insufficient to sustain me in the many opinions, conclusions, and practical decisions incident in normal living. So faith became a necessary and comforting complement to rational thought. What is the meaning of faith? There is no simple answer that is accurate and all-inclusive.
As a boy, I had a wonderful Sunday school teacher in the Protestant country church I attended. She had a profound and moving faith in her Christian God.
It was my good fortune to have the friendship of a Roman Catholic nun. She too was a saintly woman, sustained by unshakable faith in her Christian God. And I, too, have faith in religion.
There are other faiths of compelling force. One is faith in people. I believe that there is more good than evil in human beings. Hence, I have great faith in democracy. I hesitate to use the word democracy because its meanings have become so distorted. But I have faith that the true meanings of democracy will, in time, become clear. And thus by implication, I have expressed faith in time itself.
There is faith in the basic values of home, family,
and loved ones. I want and need affection, the comforts of pleasant companionship, the recognition of respect, the quiet shoulder of home. And I want to be wanted. These values, in turn, provide sources of faith that strengthen me for the outside struggles: the despairs and joys, the disappointments and assurances of life.
There is also faith in oneself. This faith should never result in arrogant self-confidence or in personal conceit. Intelligent self-analysis will forestall either error. Constant vigilance, however, is required to retain true humility. This shouldn't be difficult if I see myself in proper
perspective. I am one among the countless billions of the past, present, and future. I am scarcely discernable in the midst of universal vastnesses. But I am one, and my faith, I pray, carries me on to tireless efforts to add something worthwhile to life, no matter how relatively small it may be.
I have faith in the future. In the present state of the world, the fearsome conflicts among religions, social philosophies, economic theories, political goals, and personal ambitions calls for faith unlimited. This world is blessed with many people of unimpeachable integrity and great intelligence. I have faith when crises reach their zenith here and there, these people will emerge to points
of saving leadership. History justifies that faith.
Finally, I have faith in faith. It is the one sure anchor in stormy weather. The winds may blow, lighting flash, thunder roll, and the rains fall, but faith in faith reminds me that one day the sun will shine again, the stars will reappear, and the soothing breezes of day and night will once more prevail. In 1939, when the lights were going out all over the world, Mahatma Gandhi said, "My faith is brightest in the midst of impenetrable darkness." This is an ideal I have long sought, and shall always seek.
That was Ned H. Dearborn, the president of the National Safety Council in Chicago.