This I Believe

Lutz, Jack


  • Jack Lutz describes his belief in the three dimensions of life: height, or success; breadth, or education and culture; and depth, or faith.
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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. Jack Lutz has recently retired after 52 years with the W. B. Saunders Company, publishers of medical books. As advertising director of the company, he set up standards of medical book advertising which are still generally accepted throughout the industry. For many years, he taught advertising and business English at the Poor Richard Club, of which he was once president. He was one of the organizers of the Charles Morris Price School in 1922. Here now is Jack Lutz.
In my teen years, I had pondered deeply regarding a dimension of living other than what may be designated up and down
and across. The idea of depth came to me, I suppose, from Euclid—that objects have three dimensions. I could see that a man had three dimensions. So why should not the analogy continue into life and living? But I reached no conclusions. And when I got into the business world, with my complete ignorance of business, I found little time to ponder the imponderables.
But with the coming of Hollywood’s terminology, the theorem again found access to my thinking. I believe height rightly represents a degree of success as measured by society; width the breadth of learning, culture, education, and such acquired abilities; and I believe there is a third dimension to living. To me, that third dimension is depth, representing faith.
I believe there is a supreme being, and that faith has never more vividly been brought home to me than by a recent tragedy.
A very dear friend of mine, about to graduate from college, suddenly met death by drowning. He must have known that he and his companion were lost. Yet when he was peacefully sleeping in his last couch, there was no expression of fear or anxiety on his face, as would be expected; but rather, there lingered about the corners of his mouth, a smile such as we have seen in life when someone is accorded a most pleasant welcome into a beautiful setting with delightful friends waiting.
In addition to this faith in divinity and a rewarding hereafter, I believe faith in oneself is quite important—not, alone, to success as gauged by society, but to one’s own dignity and self esteem. It is important, as well, to the continuance or development of a faith in God, and at the same time, appeals to that God through prayer; people need sustained belief in
self. I knew nothing about advertising when I began it as a career, but I believed that with divine guidance, through prayer, I could master it.
I attribute whatever success I have attained to this guidance. I find faith in my friends, acquaintances, and in mankind generally, is essential to happy and healthful living. I believe that wider living of such faith would result in lessening world problems, because after all, a nation is only a group of people that expresses the composite thinking and acting of its component units. I have always made it a rule to trust everyone, unless—and until—my faith was violated. If no harm is done to me, then that person is a friend of mine. I believe I owe my long and cherished list of friends to this faith in their integrity.
To summarize, I believe that faith—faith in a supreme and wisely guarding master, faith in self and one’s ability to accomplish any worthy task set before him, faith in others, individually and as a nation—is the most important factor in securing world peace, in assuring happiness during our detour here on earth, with the opportunity for supreme happiness in the land beyond—the degree of that happiness being governed, I believe, by the extent of our dynamic faith during what we call our lifetime. These are the beliefs by which I have governed my life.
That was Jack Lutz, who has traveled in every state of the Union, through Latin America and Europe. He has found that faith in people, as well as in a supreme being, is the "third dimension" of life.