This I Believe

Hecht, Edith


  • Edith Hecht explains why she believes the world is becoming a better place and her belief that faith, as opposed to fear, will remove obstacles in times of adversity, and that the world and man were created for goodness.
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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. The versatility of certain people often seems unbelievable. Mrs. Edith Hecht is the wife of a Philadelphia lawyer, the mother of three sons, a grandmother, a lecturer and a sculptress. Before her marriage, she worked in occupational therapy. As her boys grew up, she found time on her hands and started to study art. Her sculpture is well known in Philadelphia, including the Fairmount Park bust of Victor Herbert. She continues to live a busy life and it may not be surprising, therefore, if the beliefs of Edith Hecht are full of hope.
I do not believe the world is soon to be destroyed by the Atom Bomb. I believe it will continue for centuries and will become a better world than that of the past. From Biblical days to the present, world destruction has been predicted. Man continues to cry out that his day is the day of greatest evil. Yet, in the light of history we see more and more consideration given to animals, children, and to women. Compare records of the past with the present in regard to opportunities for the colored race and other minority groups. Once it was argued that the Negro was born with less capability than the White man. Yet, it took a Negro, Ralph Bunche, to make peace where no White man had succeeded.
I believe that man is inherently noble. I am not blind to his weaknesses and frequent evil behavior, but, given the proper environment in most cases, he is capable of unbelievable courage and self-sacrifice. William Shirer, author and commentator, says, “Those who were bombed out or hounded in concentration camps came out with a will to go on, with faith in themselves, their fellow man, and in God.”
I have a son in his early twenties who hitchhiked to Alaska with just such faith. When warned of the dangers, he said, “I will find more good people than evil ones, more who will want to help me get to where I want to go than to hinder.” It turned out just that way. On his second trip to Alaska, he drove a car.
On his second trip to Alaska, he drove a car. March 17, 1950, he fell asleep while driving. The car met with an accident and was completely destroyed. March 18, Dick was on his way with another car. Hitting a ditch, this car also was destroyed, and for a second time our son received no injury.
I believe we go much further when we do not build up obstacles through fear and lack of faith. I believe God does not wish us to know when the world is to be destroyed or when we as individuals are to be destroyed. Everywhere I see evidence that it is a world created for our good, and that, “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil, for the Lord is with me.”
Furthermore, I believe that God put food on this Earth for man’s body and soul and gave him a brain to discover the treasures of creation and use them for good or evil. A good man believes that everyone is entitled to the beauty and bounty of the universe. A good man not only uses his own powers toward self-development and pleasure but helps those who are not as well endowed.
We do not know why some are born more unfortunate than others or why some parts of the world are filled with darkness. In all great paintings, there are the darks to set up the lights. Sometimes, the artist puts the dark where it should not be. Sometimes man creates more darkness for himself than he realizes.
But I believe that in the hours of misfortune, man should still have faith, either that this darkness is created to bring out some hidden strength or to help him appreciate something of value in his life. Frequently, I use this prayer: “Oh Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Those were the beliefs of Mrs. Edith Hecht or Philadelphia, who, we submit, has applied the rich principles of art not only to her sculpture but to the business of living as well. She faces the challenge of the Atomic Age with courage and faith, those spiritual commodities so much in demand today.