This I Believe

Tobin, Emery

  • Emery Tobin, Editor and Founder of the Alaska Sportsman, describes his belief that people have been placed in a beautiful creation in order to work to improve themselves and to serve others.
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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. Emery F. Tobin's father went to Alaska in the gold rush of 1898. Emery Tobin followed him there after serving in France in World War I. He worked as a newspaperman, and in 1935, founded The Alaska Sportsman, a magazine which holds a mirror to life on the last frontier. This is Emery Tobin's creed.
A man cannot live in a country such as Alaska without often stopping to wonder about creation. Here he sees high
mountains, vast glaciers, mysterious Northern Lights, some of the world’s largest animals, great forests and tundra carpeting the ground; and in the winter, an awesome silence, that you most can hear, falls over all.
I believe that there is a plan for the universe and it is being consummated. It is so tremendous that we, little creatures that we are, cannot hope to grasp it. Below us in the scheme of things are still smaller but amazingly intricate organisms, microscopic life. Everything is fearfully, wonderfully made, defying duplication. It is evident to me that a part that does not fit into the plan or does not fulfill the purpose for which it was intended is soon
discarded or destroyed. Man cannot create, but he can serve as a worker—a gardener, perhaps, dispensing loving care and protection on all God’s wonderful works and bringing the beautiful living things to their full fruition.
I believe that every living thing on this Earth has its task to do; the birds scatter seed; bees transfer the pollen of the plants; worms pulverize the ground, aerating it to make the plant food available to the roots. We are also here to serve but surely not to serve only ourselves. That would be a useless purpose. While we generate force towards service, we must at the same time endeavor to maintain ourselves at a high level of efficiency and seek to attain the perfection
of mind of the great builder. If we are not here to serve and improve ourselves, as we have been doing from the dawn of time and up from the slime, then what purpose was there in creating us?
I have had demonstrated to my own satisfaction, again and again, that an architect of supreme intelligence is all about me, ready and eager to help so long as I do my work and live as He intended. Nor do I neglect to thank and praise Him for all these wonderful things that become mine or are evident everywhere about me. I try never to worry, for I know that worry is a great killer. I need not worry if I do my best. I study and work to improve myself and the small portion of the world that is around me. I know that like every other living thing, I have a reason for being. I try to be a good
worker in God’s great garden and consider myself duty bound to use and keep sharp the tools He has given me: my hands, my brain, and all my other faculties.
The things that I do need not be momentous in the usual sense: a smile, a pat on the back, or a word of praise or encouragement to man or dog is very much worthwhile; a bit of work for community, state, or nation, to make it better; pointing the way or making a task lighter for someone else. These are the things that count and make happiness for the doer. I believe that if I give to the world the best I have, the best will come back to me.
That was Emery F. Tobin of Ketchikan, publisher of the Alaska Sportsman.