The Chase

Connell, Arthur

  • Arthur Connell, National Commander of the American Legion, describes his belief that every human being has a purpose from God and the potential to do good, and that every circumstance happens for a reason, even the death of his only daughter. Audio also contains advertisement for "This I Believe" book.
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Arthur J. Connell is National Commander of the American Legion. Born in Boston, a graduate of Harvard, he is president of Connell's, a clothing firm in Middletown, Connecticut. A Navy veteran of World War I, he rose through the ranks of the largest veterans' organization in the world, and was unanimously elected national commander. Here is Arthur J. Connell.
I believe that in every man there is a preponderant potential for good. I believe that for
all living and for each life there is a purpose which is God’s, and that every human being is possessed of the reason and the will to achieve it. I believe that total happiness and total understanding are beyond mortal grasp, and that success in life lies not in realizing these goals but in reaching for them.
These beliefs I base upon personal acknowledgment of both the mastery and the mystery of Divine Law.
Self-control, self-criticism and a remorseless urge for self-improvement are the indispensable
virtues. Upon these foundations, the individual can build useful achievements. Apart from them, there is no good way to initiate or evaluate personal success.
Perhaps the most difficult of all problems is to draw the line between what is ordained for us and what we can and should ordain for ourselves-between submission to Divine Will and the expression of our own will.
My wife and I in 1943 suffered the loss of our only child-a daughter about whom our very lives
revolved. For us it was a shattering experience, and it left a long and teeming wake of doubt and depression and questions which seemed to pose neither answers nor escape. In the larger sense, of course, there was and is no escape; but there was a reason, and if the wisdom and justice of it remained veiled from our view, it was also true that the God who gave us our greatest blessing might rightly reclaim it. All I ask, however, of this life is that, with the grace of God, I shall so
conduct myself that some day I shall have earned the right to walk hand in hand with my daughter through eternal life.
The individual’s title to happiness is at best insecure; his right is in the chase, not the catch. To attempt to limit one’s aspirations by the measurable results achieved is the easiest and most futile of follies; for it assumes a power we do not have, and squanders the power that we do have.
All that I have been taught by a mother and father who lived their faith-a mother who was the apostle
of devotion and understanding; a father, farsighted and industrious, who believed in education, honesty and industry-all that I have learned from personal experience has supported one fundamental fact: life is worth living for those who live true to themselves and to their God.
This I believe!
Those were the personal beliefs of Arthur J. Connell. They were chosen from the beliefs broadcast in the past two years for inclusion in the new This I Believe book, now at your bookstore.