This I Believe

Hauke, E. B.


  • E. B. Hauke describes how his beliefs were shaped by his experiences as an immigrant trying to achieve a better way of life: as a result, he believes in frugality, wise use of resources, tolerance, kindness, humility, and the brotherhood of humanity.
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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. E. B. Hauke was born in Norway, came to the United States as a young man, and graduated from Pacific Lutheran College in the state of Washington. He lived for 29 years in Astoria, Oregon, where he became city treasurer. He moved to Minnesota in 1934 and since that year has been president of the Sons of Norway. During World War II, he served as national vice chairman of the American relief for Norway, and in recognition of this work, he was created Commander of St. Olav with
star by King Haakon of Norway. Here now is E. B. Hauke.
Coming to the United States from Norway at the age of seventeen, my past was steeped in the customs and traditions of that country. This background of limited opportunities and less favorable circumstances gave me an outlook on life perhaps different from that of a native son of our country, and perhaps shared only by persons in similar circumstances. My beliefs thus stem from the stark realities of life, which a young man faces in his struggle for a better place in society as an immigrant.
I acquired many of my beliefs and fundamental principles of life from my parents, who followed their
children to the New World, and I have tried to the best of my ability to accept as my guide their simple but stern way of life. I believe we should not discard lightly the traditions of our forefathers and what they stand for. Out of the pages of history may come the solution of our present day problems and the guidance for our future conduct. We should take a lesson from the great men and women of the past in trying to shape a decent place in this world for ourselves and our children.
I believe we should be frugal in our living, use our native resources as sparingly as possible, and conserve the treasures of the earth that cannot be replaced, so that generations after us may have the same opportunities of life and the means of comfort that we enjoy. I believe we are the custodians of
all this wealth, not the despoilers.
I believe we should be more concerned about human values, also. They are the most precious of all our possessions. In our dealings with other people--be they our friends and neighbors, or in the most exalted places in the world--a few simple rules of conduct, wisely applied, could shape the course of human endeavors so that wars and threats of conflict might be eliminated altogether. Tolerance, kindness, humility, understanding, and consideration of our fellow men, and the ability to see the other man's viewpoint, are fundamental qualities without which no man or woman can achieve much of greatness.
I believe in the brotherhood of man. I believe we have such a brotherhood in our own United States. We may disagree on many questions, but when the test comes and the call is made for united action, we stand shoulder to shoulder for what we consider right. I believe we should come in more personal contact with the common, ordinary folks of other countries and learn firsthand their way of life--their history and traditions, their hopes and aspirations. The sooner we get to know these, our neighbors across the seas, and the sooner they get to know us--as we behave and act in our everyday conduct--the sooner will the brotherhood of all the peoples of the earth be possible.
I believe that man will be able to work out his problems and that life on earth will be constantly
better. Throughout the ages, each generation has made a step upward in its never ending search for a better life, and this will continue to the end of time.
Those were the beliefs of E. B. Hauke of Minneapolis, a Norwegian-born American who has brought to his adopted land much of the philosophy of his Nordic forebears. In his own fraternal society, Sons of Norway, he finds expression of his beliefs in the brotherhood of man.