E. E. Wieman explains the importance of sharing in life and how sharing is exemplified in sports; however, Wieman also describes how learned to share from his mother, which is the basis of his optimism.
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. E. E. Wieman is a football coach. He was captain of the University of Michigan’s team right after the First World War. Among the schools at which he has held coaching assignments are Michigan, Minnesota, Princeton and Columbia. During the Second World War he served as an expert consultant to the Army in the field of physical training. Later he became Dean of Men and Director of Physical Education and Athletics at the University of Maine. Today, Tad Wieman is Director of Athletics
Thirty years of close association with young men, through coaching college athletics, have convinced me that most of our social problems boil down to individuals. To a very large degree, the resolution of these problems turns simply from developing the good and suppressing the evil that is in each one of us. And essential to this development is the constructive sharing of beneath-the-surface experiences, one with another.
Within our complex and sophisticated modern world, there are altogether too few opportunities, it seems to me, for this kind of sharing. It just isn’t done. We are afraid of being misunderstood, perhaps
laughed at, with the result that we tend to crawl into our shells and exhibit to our associates only a surface veneer that conceals more than it reveals. I feel fortunate in the discovery that a conspicuous exception to such artificial relationships is provided by properly conducted school and college athletics. On the practice fields of competitive sport, this veneer is worn off and each boy stands revealed to his teammates for what he really is. He is unashamed of emotion, knowing that in this situation sentiment will not be confused with sentimentality. Members of a team play together and think together and feel together. They share the exhilarating thrill of victory and success; they taste together the bitterness of disappointment and defeat. Out of this sharing of work and play and emotion
there develops and understanding, a respect and a very real affection that is difficult to duplicate elsewhere in the relationships of men.
All of us, I think, hunger for such experiences: experiences in which we can meet as we are and find inspiration to become what we ought to be. In my case, this sharing began quite naturally with my mother, whose wisdom and fortitude nurtured eight children on the meager income of a country preacher. She coached us by sharing with us the art of meeting life and adversity with the simple faith that all things work together for good to them that love God. In like manner she taught us the dignity of work, the satisfaction of a job well done and the fact that real success cannot be measured in material
The years have confirmed this faith. I have seen my share of unfairness, cruelty and selfishness, but I have not become cynical. I have known disappointment, but I have not lost faith. My faith is fortified by work I like, in a city I like, in a country that is the world’s best hope for the future. But more, it is strengthened by the life I share with my wife of thirty devoted years, by two children who are working out full and satisfactory lives for themselves, by five brothers and two sisters who stand always ready to help should the need arise, and by a host of friends across the country which my work has made it my privilege to know. These are sustaining blessings for which I continue to thank God, and
I pray humbly that in some measure I may be worthy of them. Because I see so much in those about me that is fine and noble and good, I look to the future with optimism.
I enjoy living, but I am not afraid to die. When my time comes I shall face death as life: with confidence and the wisdom of the Almighty, whose ways are beyond my understanding, but in whose love and justice I have supreme confidence.
There are the beliefs of E. E. “Tad” Wieman of Denver, Colorado. He is an outstanding coach and a thoughtful citizen.