This I Believe

Belden, Mary Addams


  • Mary Belden, president and treasurer of Belden Frosting Company, describes her beliefs in the brotherhood of individuals, the need for tolerance, the importance of listening to the other side of an argument, the dignity of human beings, the need to remember the past, and her confidence that Christianity will triumph over other philosophies, dispelling fear and uncertainty.
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And now, This I Believe, the living philosophies of thoughtful men and women, presented in the hope they may strengthen your beliefs so that your life may be richer, fuller, happier. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Mrs. Mary Addams Belden is a successful businesswomen. She is also a lecturer, writer, poet, musician, and composer. Yet she finds time to take an active part in a wide variety of community activities, both in her hometown of Oneida, New York, and through the Peoples' Section of the United Nations. This is the creed which motivates Mrs. Belden in her work.
Whether the hand I grasp in friendship is the same color as mine, whether the soul I court feels the need of the same creed I endorse or not, it makes no difference; for my new acquaintance is important in the sight of the one true God,
and we are brothers under the skin. I believe it is important to form my own opinions to support and uphold my own ideals, but that it is likewise important for me to understand, with the soul, all sides of the question, to occasionally try to put myself in the other’s circumstances and position, to consider his point of view in search for the truth. And this I will do if I have a sufficient understanding of the element of truth.
I believe that that which the world calls “success” has no yardstick, no standard weight and measure, that success is contained in our capacity to restrain ourselves for the good of mankind. Everyone knows the powers of temptation. I guess all of us have restrained ourselves in times of temptation. I have been tempted to transgress the laws of God and man, and I know what it means to struggle against the pull of that which is base and evil. In my opinion, then, success lies in my
comprehension of right and wrong. I believe that manmade institutions for uniting the Earth’s people are useless until a society and an atmosphere of tolerable human relations have been established. I believe in the dignity of the individual— body and soul of man—and his right to develop spiritually and physically according to the composition of his being. If he is well developed completely through his own efforts in self-denial, he will not need to be prodded into good behavior within the Brotherhood of Man, and he will not dare to refute the Fatherhood of God. He will know from experience dearly bought whereof he speaks, and knowing, he will be able to conduct himself well.
I believe there is enough greatness and intelligence in any one person to bring joy to a troubled world, if he so desires. Each and all individuals are important and capable of some specific deed for good, having been created only a little
lower than the angels.
I believe in the merits of the past, but I cannot live only for the present and the future and submerge the past completely in the complexities of the modern era, and so forget it. The past was the beginning of the present and has brought us forward. Deleted of its faults and failures, it has much to commend it, and we should give credit to the many brave beginnings long years ago which have developed into the mysteries and marvels of the Twentieth Century. As the sun, the moon, and stars were created to light the world in the beginning of time, so, in an inferior way, I live today more effectively by the basic manmade principles which have come to me from the past.
I believe that out of the turmoil and hatred of the present will come a better and brighter day, and out of today’s struggle will bloom a better understanding for tomorrow’s peace. I believe Christianity will triumph over its modern-day adversaries, atheism and agnosticism, that the Earth will cleanse itself, cleanse itself from fear and doubt and be attracted once more to the altar of righteousness.
I believe that people, friends, are more valuable than gold, that true peace, true wealth, is a condition of the mind. And
I believe that all too often we try to justify our own beliefs by condemning the convictions of others. I believe in the power of prayer, that prayers are answered, that God alone is the only perfect One. I believe these simple things are basic in a well-regulated society. Their virtues lie in their simplicity and in their easy application to everyday living.
That was Mrs. Mary Addams Belden, president and treasurer of the Belden Frosting Company of Oneida, New York. In her spare time, she composes music and writes poetry.