This I Believe

Holloway, Alice G.


  • Alice Holloway, founder of Ideas Unlimited, desribes the influence her grandmother and father have had on her beliefs and her certainty that kindness and service to others in need is the kindness that comes from a deeply spiritual and selfless place in people.
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Alice G. Holloway is a writer, advertising woman and former kindergarten teacher who has made ideas her business. She is the founder of Ideas Unlimited, an agency designed to translate into action the ingenuity of ordinary women. Anything that is novel, practical or decorative falls within its scope. Here are some of Alice Holloway’s own ideas on living.
The person who had, perhaps, the greatest influence upon my life and the things in which I now believe, was my grandmother. To me she was a great lady, a person whom I loved, respected, and revered throughout her life and whose memory today strengthens my own beliefs.
I remember that shortly after we moved to a country home in Connecticut, I invited my grandmother to visit me but was rather worried about my little car. My bumpy, little Model A was no substitute for her limousine, and I wondered whether she would resent being bounced along rutted country roads. To my intense relief, she thoroughly enjoyed what, to her, was a novel experience.
And one day, as we were driving slowly along a particularly rough stretch, she remarked that perhaps there was a simile, of sorts, between the journeys we take by car and the greater journey that we—all of us—take through life. Some of us travel the back roads in Model A’s all our lives, while others, perhaps more fortunate, travel in limousines on the broader reaches of the smooth highways.
I believe, however, that all roads are connected. It is true that some of us are more fortunate than others in our inheritance of highways. But it has always seemed to me that the real virtue does not lie in the highways, as much as the spirit in which we drive along the route we are traveling.
I believe that the real virtue also lies in our readiness to help the fellow ahead, who has been forced off the road, to get back on it again.
This year, I was fortunate enough to visit Europe. And while I was there, I noticed how very courteous the drivers were to one another. I spoke of this to a friend of mine in London. He thought for a moment, and then with a slight shrug his shoulders said, “Perhaps, but to us it just appears to be common sense to be courteous to the other fellow. That way, he is courteous in return. It makes the journey that much easier for everybody.” Then he added, “And it’s just good insurance to stop and help out if someone is broken down. After all, who knows when I may need a hand myself?”
Perhaps all this seems elementary, but it did confirm the beliefs that I have held for many years, since the time that I very tentatively steered my first car out of a long, smooth drive under my first very bumpy road. I also believe that what my friend in London said was not motivated purely by selfishness. I believe in the individual. I believe that the individual responds in like manner to the way in which he is treated by other individuals. I believe that the kind acts, the thoughtful deeds, are not done from any sense of superficial selfishness but from a deeper and more profound motivation that is part of man’s spiritual makeup.
My father was a forceful, religious man. I remember him gathering the family about him daily for a short period of prayer. It was a quiet time when our thoughts were drawn away from the excitements of the day and centered on a togetherness of spirit. In his rich, resonant voice, he asked for guidance over the rough roads so that our individual lives might become a reflection of our beliefs.Upon these and other influences, my own beliefs have become stronger. What I do, and how I use my capabilities, reflect upon and influence my fellow, just as what he does and how he thinks reacts upon and influences me.
I believe that we, as individuals, are like the spokes in a wheel. Each spoke must needs be strong, so that the outer rim may withstand and balance the pressures and the strains that it encounters.
That was Alice G. Holloway of Westport, Connecticut. She is the founder of a unique enterprise called Ideas Unlimited, which seeks to facilitate human ingenuity.