This I Believe
Palmer, Paul, Mrs.
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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. Mrs. Paul Palmer has lived all of her 63 years on the farm. She married the boy on the next farm, and together they worked hard to make their land produce. Mrs. Palmer was awarded the honor of master farm homemaker in the state of Missouri. She was active in the Farm Bureau for thirty years and in 1950 attended the conference of the Associated Countrywomen of the World in Denmark. Here now is the creed of Mrs. Palmer.
I have not found it easy to put into words my innermost feelings. The age in which I live is geared to a feverish temple. Moral and spiritual values seem to have been discarded. Nevertheless it’s my sincere hope that by revealing some of the things which I believe I may be able, in some small measure, to help others to clarify their own beliefs.
First, I know that what I believe has been the result of how I was reared and how I have lived. I had a devout Christian mother. My very earliest memories of her were those of her walking down the hot, dusty road with her barefoot brood of children to our little country church. We children carried our shoes and put them on before going in to services. I do not remember ever being made conscious of my ill-
fitting clothes or my squeaky shoes. I was impressed with the fact that church attendance was a very definite part of my training in Christian living.
Living on a farm where we are so dependent upon the outward manifestations of God’s care, the sunlight and rain needed to produce the necessities of life—not only for ourselves but for all of those who must have food—I learned very early in life the need for, and the power of, prayer. I believe also in the importance of the home, and a closely-knit family life. It is in the home that attitudes are formed and characters are built. My home has always been the center of my interest but it was never the circumference. I know full well that my world does not lie between the four walls of my home, and that
my neighbors are not just those whose line of fences run alongside our farm. I could concentrate all my efforts on making my home a spot of moral goodness, but that very goodness could and would be marred by outside influences. Therefore if I, one individual, am to take my place in this changing world, I must participate in the civic affairs of my community. I have to begin where I am, and use those resources which I have at hand.
Rural women who live close to the great fundamental forces of life can, I believe, be a steadying influence in the world today if they have understanding, keep calm, work and hope.
I believe in the principles of good citizenship and I am convinced that every individual has a
responsibility to uphold and a contribution to make. I am failing to do my part if I do not exercise my rights and privileges as an American citizen. My vote is my voice in the affairs of my country. I cannot make my voice heard should I fail to exercise that right. As a thoughtful, liberty-loving citizen, I believe that I am called on to help maintain the heritage of freedom, which our forefathers bequeathed to us.
My greatest joy comes from serving others. In order to be of service to others, I must not only know myself but I must be myself. My faith in God, in mankind, is strengthened daily, for I believe that today we are standing at the threshold of a new era—an unpredictable era—and we must turn to faith as a
steadfast guide in our search for security, comfort and peace of mind. Finally, I believe, as did the old servant who awakened his master daily with these words: “Wake up, sir. The sun’s a-shining and we’ve got great work to do.”
That was Mrs. Paul Palmer of Ethlyn, Missouri, a widow now, who has four children and ten grandchildren. Her farm is managed by her two sons, but she still leads an active life.