This I Believe

Carlson, H. Clifford (Henry Clifford)

  • H.C. Carlson, director of Men's Student Health Service and Varsity Basketball Coach at the University of Pittsburgh, describes the rewards he experiences through serving others and accomplishing simple tasks, and states his belief that the people with whom he comes into contact deserve the best he has to offer them.
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. For the past thirty-one years, Dr. H. C. Carlson has coached the varsity basketball teams at his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh. In that time, he has turned out many championship teams and all-American players. But what is more important, he has imparted to the boys he works with a strong sense of fairness and responsibility. These are Dr. Carlson's beliefs.
Please believe me, I feel very humble and inadequate in this task at hand. My vocation is medicine, my avocation is coaching the Pitt basketball team, my exercise is mowing my lawn. And my belief is that they
are all similar media of action for reaching a higher plain of existence. Each simulates painful action prior to sacred victory. Medicine is a way of giving service. Coaching presents the pageantry of adventure. The greens of nature symbolize security.
When the breadwinner is apparently on his deathbed, an anxious wife and mother is the picture of anxious prayer, and innocent little children are gazing at you as if you were a god. Then, as the family doctor, you are bound to appreciate and beseech a higher power for help.
When the possibility of the death of a patient causes me sleeplessness and a faltering of faith, then a retreat to visions of helping healthy youngsters blossoming to full growth and usefulness through athletics
may bring a restful calm. When a few minutes of happy surveillance compensates for hours of drudgery in mowing my lawn, there must be some kindly province I have reached as a reward for my best applicable efforts.
The philosophy develops that in giving my best, the greatest compensation is an endowment by a higher power in the reward of greater capabilities. No matter how poor in human attributes, going all out in a worthy task at hand causes one’s best to become better. Today our best may not be sufficient to win. But tomorrow it may have developed sufficiently to conquer. Physically, mentally, and socially, the man giving his best today is a better man tomorrow.
I believe in people, in my community, and in my institution. And I believe they deserve my best. I hope to radiate sunshine and warmth through a smile and a greeting happily given. Even if it isn’t dignified, I want to be willing to cross the street merely to say “hello” to a friend, and then return to the first side to continue on about my business.
I hope to inspire others and to be inspired by them. I wish my patients to live a pattern of life that gives off the byproducts of health and happiness. I want my players to develop habits of good training, sound conditioning, and a healthy emotional drive to get better every game—and then have an applicable carryover to produce in other fields of human relationships and welfare.
I try to learn and apply the lessons of nature. Difficult situations, comparable to briars, may project themselves, inviting injuries for the person with an aggressive, direct approach. An apparently indirect approach near the roots of briars finds a smoother and less harmful place for attack.
Society has been kind to me, and I am indebted. I want to pay back some of that debt everyday. As long as I am able to give, there will be less trouble to get. If I give my best today, it may not be quite good enough. But if I keep trying now, I know it will be better later.
There the creed of Dr. H. C. Carlson, director of Men's Student Health Service, and varsity basketball coach, at the University of Pittsburgh.