This I Believe

Byers, Carl C.


  • Carl Byers, Superintendent of Parma City Schools, describes his beliefs in using intelligent change to create an optimistic future and in living his life in a way that makes others happy to see him come rather than glad to see him go.
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. At the age of 25, Carl C. Byers was the youngest high school principal in Ohio, and one of the youngest in the country. Today in his early 40s, he is superintendent of the Parma City Schools of Cleveland. In addition to his educational career, he is the author of a widely syndicated newspaper column, and is in constant demand as a speaker and entertainer. This is Carl C. Byers' creed.
Tennyson in his Ulysses says, "Come my friends, 'tis not too late to build a better world." This I believe. I note that the good old days are gone forever, and I see no cause for tears. I feel that the very essence of life is intelligent, directed change.
Before me is an exciting adventure, a new world worth making. I do count as an individual, so I have a personal responsibility to do my individual best. 'Tis true, I'm living in a fast and furious world, but I'd better quit trying to buck it and learn to live with it. Today is the only day I have. Why not make it the best day? I can't live tomorrow until it becomes today.
I take time daily to get off to myself and collect my thoughts. I may not be in very good company, but it works wonders for me. When the going gets rough--and it does for all of us--I find an escape to laughter and relaxation, a few minutes vacation from my daily job. Then I come back to my assignment with a new lease on life--my life.
I believe that religion can be fun. I believe Christ intended that my religious experience, whatever faith, form, or creed, should be something stimulating and happy instead of something long-faced and gloomy. The test of my religion is not the church to which I belong but what I think when I am alone with my thoughts. As I think, I am. It's my life; whether or not I enjoy it depends upon the liver. So organically, I watch my liver; mentally, my attitude; and spiritually, my pursuit of happiness.
This question I keep before myself daily: Are people glad to see me pass or do they look forward to my passing? You'd be
surprised how that helps keep me in proper focus. I want to be able to smile, live smoothly and justly among friends that are mine for the asking. The best reference I have for purposeful living is the Holy Bible with its Sermon on the Mount or, even briefer than that, just the Golden Rule. By taking it off the shelf, dusting it off, shining it up, and then applying it in my daily conduct, I find at my own doorstep adventures for the spirit--compensations that money can't buy.
I like to watch the dawn of a new day. As the stars slowly fade out and the morning light streaks across the horizon, I am
reminded that something deeper and more eternal than a mere human being keeps the sun in its orbit and the planets in their courses. In facing the sun and looking toward the east, I can rest assured that the shadows are behind me, and that's a good way to begin the day. This handiwork of the Creator of the universe stands out as a beacon light in an atmosphere foggy with confusion and commotion and provides, for me, a reaffirmation of faith in the eternal verities. This I believe.
That was Superintendent of Schools Carl C. Byers of Parma, Ohio, whose lively sense of humor spices an earnest, penetrating view of life.