This I Believe

Walsh, Catherine Flemming


  • Catherine Walsh describes her belief that it is impossible to be truly happy and the importance of always making the best effort in what one does.
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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. At the age of twenty-one, Catherine Fleming Walsh joined the faculty of St. Louis University as an instructor in speech. Today, with six years of teaching experience behind her, she is an assistant professor. These are some of the lessons this young teacher herself has learned.
Two-thirds of my life has been spent as a student, but for the past six years I've been at the other end of a classroom as an instructor in a university. I was married only a year ago, so you can see that my beliefs have not come as a result of a wealth of experience nor through any great crisis.
I believe in God, because as a child I knew that my parents took care of me. As I grew older, I saw that the government takes care of society, and I know that someone takes care of the world. Without this belief in God, my life would have no purpose. I've asked myself, Why am I here? What am I seeking? and my answer is, Happiness. Naturally, I've found some happiness through my family, friends, success. But this isn't enough. I'm not completely happy. But I know that God wouldn't give me a desire for
complete happiness and not let me satisfy this need. Evidently, complete happiness is not to be found in this life. This I must remember always, and judge everything that happens to me in the light of this fact. It gives a foundation for all my actions.
I believe that my life is a project, a piece of clay I mold, which God will judge at its completion. I've noticed that people who prize a possession, such as a house or a car, are proud of this acquisition. They wouldn't do anything intentionally to destroy it, and would protect it from harm at the hands of others. Since my life is my most priceless possession, I must do the same with it, and not allow myself, or anyone else, to corrupt it. This isn't easy, but I know that I could become all mixed up and disillusioned if I were to doubt these simple truths. I pray that God will help me to understand them.
I must judge prudently every new idea that is presented to me, so as not to become confused and led astray by the difficulties which I encounter. It has helped me to take an inventory at the end of each day, to see where I did well and where I have failed. Then I become conscious of my mistakes and the odds are greater against the same error tomorrow.
The virtue that I admire most is charity, the love of God and the love of one's neighbor. It's the only antidote that I have found for intolerance, dishonesty, and injustice. I was rather surprised when I realized that I am the average citizen, the average teacher, the average wife. As such, I will probably never be faced with tremendous decisions or spectacular tasks. My
life will be made up of little decisions and insignificant jobs. Still, if I do the best I can at making a pie or teaching a well-worn idea, when my score is added up, I'll pass the test if I did what I was meant to do, to the best of my ability. This I believe. It is a tremendous advantage to have made up my mind early about beliefs and principles. I'm building a tomorrow by preparing for it today.
Those the beliefs of Mrs. John G. Walsh, of St. Louis, Missouri, who while still young has arrived at some answers that takes others a lifetime to reach.