This I Believe

McGaha, Charles P.

  • Charles McGaha describes his belief that he is responsible to help make the world a better place, and explains how his belief that circumstances can impact a person's outcome in life gives him more tolerance of others.
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Mr. Charles P. McGaha is a self-made Texan. He worked in the Southwest as a field geologist. After this initial experience, he established the firm of Fain and McGaha, which operates as the producer and developer of oil properties. He is also recognized as one of the more progressive bankers in the Southwest. He is the president of the City National Bank in his hometown of Wichita Falls. His annual salary for this job is one dollar. Hear now the creed of Charles McGaha.
To believe is fundamental: belief in one's self, belief in the innate goodness of mankind, belief in the measurable quality called character, belief in the spiritual truths; and finally, the belief that these are realities, the things that really count.
This I believe.
Life has been very kind to me, but my successes are not mine alone. In living, I have more and more felt a sense of responsibility to my fellow man, responsibility for his effort to achieve happiness and responsibility for his failure to find it, responsibility to try to make this world a better place in which to live. As my responsibilities become more apparent to me, so does tolerance grow within. As the human values are defined, I am able to attach importance to things that are really important and at the same time do I remove myself from the things that are not important.
My business and professional career has been petroleum geology and curiously enough banking. But they are more related in many respects than you might think. In the science of geology, we make our studies both above ground and underground,
using all the improved methods and instruments that are available. Then the decision is made that here is a formation that ages ago might have trapped oil. We drill a well, and we find all conditions existing as we had anticipated, except that Mother Nature did not put any oil in that particular spot. Only the conditions were favorable, not the results. Likewise in banking, working with the human equation, we sometimes find all existing conditions favorable for a producer, yet a failure results. There is that quality, or the lack of it, in a man that makes him a producer or a failure. By using all the tools at hand, we make our appraisal of men, and I am very happy to say that in my fellow men, the favorable percentage prevails.
This makes it easy for me to believe in the inherent goodness of mankind. In the field of petroleum engineering, we study and record the performance of a producing horizon, and from such a study, we are able to anticipate future behavior and future production from this particular reservoir. So in like manner, we study and record the behavior of our fellow men. We learn to depend on character and to project this performance into the future. I believe that character is a measurable force.
It seems to me that goodness and character are qualities that must be based on spiritual belief. I have found that believing is so important that believing in one's self is an absolute necessity. To believe in my own abilities, to believe in my own goodness, to believe in my own
character, are all-important. But the attainment of this belief in myself was not possible until I had made a completely thorough and analytical search of myself and made it with honesty and courage. For happiness, for successful living, these are the rules I live by, and with all my heart, this I believe.
That was Charles P. McGaha, geologist, oil man, and banker. He lives his creed and demonstrates the value of character and belief in oneself as well as in the spiritual.