This I Believe

Iglesias, Antonio


  • Antonio Iglesias describes how his three ideals--the search for truth, a love for beauty, and a reverence for goodness--have offered him strength, certainty and motivation to pursue life despite depression, physical handicaps, suffering, loneliness, and moral indifference.
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Antonio Iglesias is a writer. He was born and raised in Campeche, Mexico but came to New York to college. From nineteen-thirty-four to forty-eight he was the New York correspondent of “Universal” of Mexico City. He has also written many philosophical and critical essays for both American and Mexican reviews including the Saturday Review of Literature. Here is Mr. Iglesias.
Being a cripple from birth, a professional journalist and a writer by vocation, I have asked myself countless times, What can I give to my fellow man from the distillation of my own personal experience that can be of real help to them in this, our times of troubles, of insecurity and fear, of doubt and anguish?
I think it was Paul Elmer More, who wrote that, “In this storm-tossed world in which we have to live, a man’s ideas are his lifeline.” How true this has been of my ideals, for whenever I have clung to them with the hopeful desperation of a shipwrecked sailor, they have carried me to safety through raging winds and over angry waves. And I now realize that my lifeline always holds because its strands are everlasting, and because its two ends are securely fastened to the very rock of the eternal.
What I mean is that my eager search for the truth, my fervent love of beauty, and my reverence for goodness have, time and time again, superhumanly saved me from the recurring wish to die;
from the devastations of sorrow; from the sharp pains and the dull aches of the body; from the dreary desolations of loneliness; from the humiliations of defeat; from the terrors of possible failure; from faithless despair; from bewitching temptations; from sloth; from moral indifference.
Time and time again, I have been lifted up, cleared out of a seemingly unendurable situation, either by the laborious and fascinating accumulation of data for the eventual verification or rejection of one of my conjectures, or by the sudden illumination lighted within my consciousness by a far reaching philosophical conclusion; or by the flames of beauty flashed upon my inner eyes by a sunset; or by one or two lines of poetry I glow with a heaven-lit fire;
or by the sublime fragrance that emanates from the performance of a noble deed.
I do not know for certain what I live for. Only God knows that. But on the other hand, viewing my life in the long perspective of the years, I have learned from the indubitable certainty of life to rate that intimate experiences—that whatever fragments of truth, beauty, and goodness I have been able to reach—have fed and strengthened my soul, as milk, bread, and meat have periodically fed and strengthened my physical organism. And—because of what seems to be their supernatural energies—truth, beauty, and goodness repeatedly and mysteriously have sustained and carried me forward into a more abundant life, even in the midst of the most threatening conditions and unpromising circumstances.
Those, the three tightly, tightly twisted strands of my lifeline, have carried me safely through the storms, the strains and the stresses of a life that has now lasted nearly half a century in a world full of troubles and tribulations. For their tensile strength has no parallel in this integrating world of matter, their endurance is greater than that of the whole universe, and their two ends—believe me—are in the hands of God.
That was Antonio Iglesias, a native of Mexico and now a resident of Port Washington, New York.