This I Believe

Morrow, Robert D.


  • Robert Morrow describes being raised by a single mother and finding happiness in simple things, hard work, creative endeavors, and the goodness and generosity of others, despite the loss of a teenage son.
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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. Mr. Robert D. Morrow is an educator. Born in Pawnee City, Nebraska he now lives and works in Arizona where tourists and residents alike are attracted by such natural wonders as the Petrified Forest, the Grand Canyon, the desert and Boulder Dam, one of the man-made wonders. Mr. Morrow has served on the state board of education and was president of the Arizona Administrators Association.
He was the superintendant of the state school of the deaf and blind for nine years and he is active in community organizations. For the past eleven years he has been the superintendant of the Tucson Public Schools. Here, now, the beliefs of Robert Morrow.
I believe that the greatest pleasures in life come from simple things—a desert flower, a shaded babbling brook, a friendly “good morning,” a beautiful painting, solitude, the song of a bird, or even more plebian things such as hot biscuits and honey, or a glass of cold milk after a long hot hike. It always thrilled my wife and me when our young daughter brought us a beautiful flower or our son took time out from a ballgame to call us to see a beautiful sunset.
My father died when I was three and no one ever worked harder than my mother to provide for us. Our home was simple but clean and attractive. When we got home from school or work, Mother was always there and never too busy nor too tired to talk with us. Saturday was bake day, and there were always cookies, cinnamon rolls, pies, and cakes for us and any friends we wanted to bring home. After church and a big Sunday dinner, we often took long walks in the woods in search of wildflowers.
I started working before I started to school and have worked for many fine people. I may be a bit old fashioned, but I believe a job worth doing is worth doing well. That it pays to do more than I am asked to do or am paid for doing.
That I can take myself too seriously, but I cannot take my job too seriously. Along the way, I have also found the difficult tasks are made easy if I pitch in and work, and that a really tough job should never be put off. If I procrastinate, they really do get tough.
My wife and I have always had fun working together with our hands, with our heads, and with our hearts. The therapeutic value of creative work, the search for truth, and the stimulation of old and new friends are all of inestimable value. It seems to me that the greatest satisfaction that any of us can get out of life is in helping others, especially helping others to help themselves. Some people have a holier-than-thou or a do-gooder attitude. But the vast majority of the people I know in all walks of life are kind, generous, and cooperative.
Time is running out and there is yet so much I want to say. Twelve days before our son would have been sixteen, he died in an accident, which probably could have been prevented. He was everything I had ever dreamed or hoped a son could be. The whole world ended for a long, long time. I have learned to live with the hurt as many others have done, a minute at a time, an hour at a time, a day at a time. There is no need to go further.
I’m most thankful that this accident hasn’t made me bitter. It has strengthened my belief in God and the inherent goodness of people, and the importance of the little and simple things in life, in the unimportance of much that is immaterial. I frequently fail, often stumble. But I do believe that in spite all the crassness, misery, and wretchedness that seem to abound, this is a good world. If we halfway try, it can be an infinitely better world for all people everywhere.
That was Mr. Robert D Morrow, the Superintendent of the Tucson Public Schools in Arizona. His optimistic faith and his belief in the simple pleasures of life are perhaps cues to living a rich and contented life.