This I Believe

Dupuch, Etienne, Sir

  • Etienne Dupuch describes how his newspaper has been run in humble reliance on God, and describes his belief in the efficacy of prayer and in freedom from fear of death.
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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. Etienne Dupuch, editor and publisher of the Nassau Daily Tribune, is one of the Bahamas most distinguished citizens. Decorated by three foreign governments and one of the senior members of the legislature, he might have followed a career in politics but preferred to carry on the newspaper his father founded and left to him. Under his editorship it has not only achieved prominence in the Bahamas but is respected by news agencies all over the world and serves as their representative. Here is Etienne Dupuch.
A while ago, I received a letter from an esteemed friend that startled me. He declared that the Tribune’s motto, “Being bound to swear to the dogmas of no master,” was a defiance of God. He suggested that we change it to “Being bound to the dogmas of no master but The Master.” For a moment, I was almost panicked into changing a motto that has stood unquestioned and unchallenged as the guiding thought of my family newspaper for over fifty years. When the letter reached me, the day’s edition had already gone to press. By next day, I had decided to wait and reflect. Now I have decided not to do it at all. The Tribune could not live without God. This newspaper has no fear of men, thank God for that, but its entire public record has been one of such complete humility to God that I can hardly take the criticism of my friend seriously.
My late father founded this newspaper in faith. It has grown to maturity by a simple code of faith that has sustained it through testing days. Directing the policy of a newspaper cannot be accepted as a light responsibility, and no man should try to do it in his own strength. Every day I say two prayers: in the morning, “Please God, guide me through this day;” and at night, “Dear God, I thank thee for all thy kindness.” There have been many times in the life of this newspaper when it seemed impossible to hold on one second longer. Then I prayed: “Dear God, this is too much for me. You take over now, please,” and He always has.
People who have no faith may scoff at this statement and say, “This is all superstition.” The important fact is that it has never failed. When I was a younger man, I used to pray, “Please God, let me win.” I don’t do that anymore. When I hand over to Him, things don’t always work out as I wish. But looking back over the years, I cannot discover a single occasion when my greatest disappointments, my biggest defeats, have not turned out to be my most cherished blessings.
There are people in my community, as in every other community throughout human history, who crave power, and they try callously to crush everything that impedes their selfish will. For years, the Tribune’s enemies have sought to find the secret of its strength.
They have felt that if they could find what has sustained it against their vicious blows, they could remove it from their power. Now I have told them. It is no deep, dark secret. It is difficult for me to understand puny man’s lust for power. If more people would contemplate the stars suspended in the endlessness of space and reflect on the eternity of the human spirit, they might develop a more sobering philosophy of living.
Physical death is the one inevitable of all life. The moment we start to live, we begin to die. There is nothing to be alarmed about if one has faith in a larger life interwoven in the fabric of eternity. Mine is composed of spirit and matter.
In this combination, the spirit should always be supreme, free, full of laughter, and eager for every opportunity to give unselfish service. The closing days of a man’s life should be a grand symphony, free from the cloud of remorse, so that the curtain may be rung down gloriously in a melody of triumph and provide the prelude to rebirth into the greater harmony of the universal being.
That was Etienne Dupuch, editor and publisher of the Nassau Daily Tribune in the Bahamas.