This I Believe

Grady, Henry Francis


  • Henry Grady describes some of his experiences as a diplomat, particularly during race riots in India between Hindus and Muslims, and explains why to live a good life with dignity one must follow the golden rule and "Love thy Neighbor as thyself." This episode is a rebroadcast of an earlier airing.
This object is in collection Subject Temporal Permanent URL
Component ID:
To Cite:
TARC Citation Guide    EndNote
Detailed Rights
view transcript only

And now, This I Believe. We bring you an earlier broadcast which is being repeated because of the special interest it aroused. Here is Edward R. Murrow as he first introduced the guest.
Henry Francis Grady is a name which symbolizes the strength and prestige of the United States to the people of India, Greece and Iran, for Dr. Grady has been our ambassador to each of these countries. To the people of his native San Francisco, his name calls to mind a long record of leadership in business and community affairs. To those who know him best, the name of Henry Francis Grady means a man of unusual integrity, sympathy and understanding. Now he states his creed.
One lives as one believes and believes as one lives. Even though what he believes may not be clearly formulated, the convictions are there. I have tested this on many occasions, both with regard to myself and others.
I was standing on the porch of my residence in New Delhi at midnight several years ago, when the race riots were at their height. Furious Sikhs and Hindus had killed thousands of Mohammedans in Delhi, alone, in revenge for the Sikhs and Hindus the Mohammedans had killed in the north. Most of our servants were Mohammedans, including my head boy, Shakur, who was standing next to me on the porch. The rioters were only a few blocks away.
A British businessman drove up on a motorcycle and pleaded that I send my station wagon to rescue his Mohammedan servants. I asked Shakur if he was willing to drive the station wagon and save these terror-stricken people. He quietly said yes and jumped into the driver’s seat and was off. Since he and my station wagon were all known to the leaders of the rioters, the risks he took were great. A few hours later, the rioters came to the British’s residence and demanded that the servants be turned over to them. But they had been taken to a place of safety by Shakur. His reaction to the situation demonstrated his character and courage. You are a better man than I, Gunga Din.
General George Marshall once told me that he would not write his memoirs because if he did, he’d spoil too many reputations. He reacted to what he regarded as decency and self-restraint, rather than to profits. I have seen simple Greek men and woman refuse to bow to their brutal German conquerors, even though their defiance meant serious bodily injury. I have seen young Greek soldiers charge up a ridge strewn with landmines, which could maim them for life, to drive out those who sought to destroy their country and their people. What they believed made them act nobly. These are some of the positive things which have gone to make up my belief.
There have also been things which I have reacted against and these, too, have had a lot to do with what I believe. Since my early youth, snobbery, intolerance, and bigotry have been abhorrent to me. As a child in a large Catholic family, I was deeply aware of the efforts of the APA to deprive my father of livelihood because of our religion. The lynching of Negroes or discrimination against them, the persecution of Jews or discrimination against them, early awakened in me a resentment which affected my whole attitude toward my fellow man.
What I believe has thus grown out of early teaching and example in my home, the precepts of my religion, and the experience of a life which has now reached three score and ten. So embracive is this that it covers everything which goes to make up the good life: The Sermon on the Mount, “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” “We are brothers under the skin.” The teachings of every great religious leader all stress one fundamental principle of human behavior. This I believe.
That was a repeat of an earlier broadcast by Dr. Henry F. Grady, former United States Ambassador to India, Greece and Iran.