A Haven Beside the Still Waters

Harris, E. A. Gene

  • Gene Harris describes his belief that following "natural laws" in one's daily life will help build a "storm-proof philosophic anchorage."
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. E. A. Gene Harris is a former newspaperman. He has been an editorial writer for the San Antonio Light and a correspondent for a number of other Texas newspapers. He turned from the irregular schedule of the newshound to the hours of the businessman. He is today a real estate dealer and mortgage loan broker in San Antonio. Here is the creed of Gene Harris.
A sorry spectacle is a man who is devoid of a storm-proof philosophic anchorage. From the reefs of doubt and disbelief where mental and spiritual turbulence is generated, to the safe haven attainable through nature's changeless channels, is for most of us rough hazardous sailing. Having found the still waters, one cannot but experience spiritual tranquility and peace of mind.
I believe that a genuinely happy life, even a truly successful life in the most wholesome sense, is largely a matter of coming to terms with nature, whose laws or principles are inexorable. And the greatest of these, the great governor wheel, is the law of
compensation or balance. I believe that the ultimate results of obeying these natural laws are constructive, promoting human welfare; and that the ultimate results of disobeying it are destructive, impairing human welfare. I believe that the process is, on average, automatic, beyond the power of human will to affect it.
Adoption of this philosophy was, for me, a slow reaction to the constant in-pouring of conflicting concepts that emanated from innumerable authoritative sources--theological, sectarian, personal. As a newspaperman, I ranged far and wide, seeing and hearing
many things, meeting all kinds of people, and always searching for something big, something really great. And I found it in my own hometown in the philosophy practiced daily by a country doctor. His philosophy was that of George Eliot's prayer, "O, let me be the cup of strength in someone's hour of agony."
This unselfish doctor did not vocally preach his philosophy; he lived it in his daily deeds. Poor himself, he nevertheless gave money in addition to his professional services to deserving patients who were struggling to survive. Although he was my father, I
did not quite understand the significance of his philosophy until the day of his funeral, which marked the end of half a century of unselfish service to his fellow man--a full measure of devotion. The burial service was conducted at the grave on a raw March day in a chilling rain. Attending were friends and former patients from half a dozen counties round about. Compensation--who can measure that kind? Compensation. Peace of mind. A safe, tranquil haven beside the still waters.
Those were the beliefs of Gene Harris of San Antonio, Texas, who wasn't afraid of the word "change" in building a life and a personal philosophy.