This I Believe

Parker, Phyllis

  • Phyllis Parker is reminded of a saying she was fond of as a child, "love conquers all" and describes the good and sometimes bad results that have come of love. She also compares love to electricity, a flow of energy, and says that if we could all harness love and direct it wisely the world could be a much better place without prejudice. In addition, this essay contains an advertisement for a This ... read more
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Phyllis Parker has been a prolific writer for stage, motion pictures, television, and radio, and has a number of children's books to her credit. Such an output must be the product of enthusiasm and energy. And Mrs. Parker is proverbial in the circle of her associates for these qualities. They shine through the statement of her faith you now are to hear.
When I was a little girl, I read in the tale A Thousand Years Old of a beautiful lady, the Prioress, who rode with the other pilgrims on that famous journey to Canterbury.
Chaucer describes her soft voice, her perfect manners, her exquisite grace. And that she was gentle of spirit, witness her bracelet, dangling a jewel engraved with the motto: Amor Vincit Omnia. How elegant it sounded, thought I, proud of my first-year Latin. Amor Vincit Omnia: Love conquers all. Someday I too would have such a bracelet. Love conquers all. I said it over and over, like a litany reaching deep in my heart.
But when, growing up, I went out in the world, I found a perplexing situation. People talked about love, sang songs in praise of it, agreed we should have lots more of it, but they were afraid of it too.
And no wonder, for its ways were very strange. I saw love work miracles: transform a homely face into beauty; cure the sick; soften stern justice with mercy; inspire a man to give his life for a cause.
I saw love work destruction: pamper a child and ruin him, or oppress others to provide luxury for some adored creature. I saw love bring dark tragedy, of old jealousy, hatred, even murder. I saw love bring food to an enemy nation which could not believe the gift was free. And I saw love meet this constant suspicion with continual kindness.
I thought of love as personal talent. Like music, some had it, some had not.
Then with maturity came a new concept: love as a stream of energy flowing from the creator. This illumined the whole picture. Why, it was like that other vast energy, electricity: a power for good or evil, depending on direction. What is love? Well, when Edison was asked, "What is electricity?" he replied, "It is. Use it."
I believe we can find a new vision of love for our new age. I believe the world needs this new vision as never before. Love, directed by wisdom, encompassing all humanity. No discrimination. No prejudice against class or creed or color. No more choosing one person or a group or a nation to love, while fearing and hating the rest.
No more patience with war, which sets these fears into motion.
Since love is an energy flowing from the creator through us, I believe that contact with a divine source will keep the transmitter in working order. As a result, a child or the youngest person can direct love freely and wisely toward the great human family of which each of us is a tiny unit. I believe that in this new age, the motto on that bracelet I'll have someday will become a shining reality. Love conquers all.
That was Phyllis Parker, a writer with a Hollywood home address, who has a long list of titles to her credit
as author in the field of stage, motion pictures, television, and radio.
This I Believe is now a Columbia LP record album. Two records, with two exciting new ideas, commentary by Edward R. Murrow. First, the beliefs of ten living Americans. Second, the beliefs of ten immortals, including Socrates, Lincoln, Queen Victoria, Will Rogers, Confucius and Ghandi, written by their most famous biographers, spoken by their best portrayers, Helen Hayes, Katharine Cornell, Raymond Massey, Jose Ferrer, and others. See the This I Believe LP album at your record dealer today.