This I Believe

Wachner, Barbara


  • Babara Wachner describes her belief that she can "pay in advance" for life's rewards, that hardships ultimately lead to happiness and that blessings can be met without fear of loss, because they have already been earned.
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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. Barbara Wachner is an actress and writer, but most importantly, a mother and a homemaker. She was born in Salem, Oregon, attended Willamette University, and studied radio production at Stanford University. She was a radio continuity writer and actress in Portland, Oregon at the age of 19. She then moved to Hollywood, where she became first a radio actress, later a writer, and now is a housewife, too. Here is Mrs. Barbara Wachner.
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.” That sensitive observation by Kahlil Gibran
sums up things pretty well for me.
I believe many things deeply about human relationships, about the beauty that surrounds us, the value of fine friendships, the wealth of treasures the world offers if you open your eyes, your ears, and your heart to them.
But searching for a strictly personal common denominator, I think it would be my belief that life gives me an opportunity to pay in advance for its satisfactions. The tougher the task, the heavier the burden, the sharper the pain, or the greater the test, the more splendid I find the reward. Consequently, when things go exceptionally wrong, I immediately sense that something exceptionally good is on the way. I am rarely impatient for it to appear, because I know it will come, just as dreams I had as a little girl are continually growing into reality.
I recall that when I was a child, I read a book about a lonesome career girl, and it moved me so that I asked God to help me remember when I grew up, that no matter how tempting a lifetime theatrical or literary career might be, a happy marriage, laughing children, and the warmth of a home that invited friendships, was a woman’s greatest fulfillment.
That early prayer has pointed the way for me at many a perplexing crossroad. It has guided me into a happy marriage, motherhood, and what I believe to be a sensible balance between homemaking and creative activities outside my home. Not a blind belief, but an unwavering conviction backed by experience constantly leads me to expect the best from the future.
And because I believe that our circumstances are the crystallizations of our thoughts, I try to be on guard against negative
attitudes. Knowing that something good is going to happen is more than Pollyanna optimism with me. It’s the very fiber of the faith I find myself calling upon time and again to see me through a difficult situation. Like any other faculty, the more one exercises faith, the stronger it becomes. I’m always putting my faith through a workout, trying it even on little things. It gets to be uncanny the way things work out.
By keeping faith ever ready for action under stress, I find I summon it automatically when I’m faced with a serious problem. I’ve learned that the solution is as sure to come in as the tide reaching the shore beyond the fog. You can’t see it, but you know it’s
coming. It’s all based on my theory of paying in advance. The satisfaction is bound to come because you’ve already endured the hardships.
This philosophy has worked successfully for me since I first became aware of its impact on everything I do. When things come easily to me, I accept them eagerly with no apprehension about the future, no feeling that it’s too good to be true, or that I’ll have to pay for it someday. If I look back into the past, I always discover a payment in advance.
There the creed of Barbara Wachner of Hollywood, California, who finds her own fulfillment in the warmth of a home, and whose faith leads her to expect the best of the future.