This I Believe

Rebel Randall - USA
Broadcast during the 1950s
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

In a comparative short journey through this thing called life, I have formed some definite opinions. First of all, I believe in God above all things. I believe in good without compromise. I believe in truth as divorced and separated from fear and confusion. I believe in a love that can encompass every living thing. I believe that perfection exists, for I have seen it in beauty. I believe in people as evidence of good. I believe in the freedom and the dignity of mankind. I believe in the evolution of this world toward the good of peace and perfection.

As a child, my mother told me, “You get out of life measure for measure what you give to life.” There is no question of the validity of this advice for me. Life is a mirror which reflects my every thought and deed. I think it is far better to ask myself not who I am, but what I am? The full measure of success in life is the degree of peace and harmony, called “happiness,” which I am able to attain. Happiness must be given to be received.

Away from any political sense, in Europe, recently, I came across an isolated school of thought, John Paul Sartre’s, which placed existence before essence; a life to be lived completely within the realm of the physical. To my mind, essence—that is, “what I really am,”—is what I project into existence, which is life, for the good I want to get out of life. Like everybody else, I want happiness, but I’ve never heard of happiness maintained within the physical realm. It begins in the mind. The body is the violin case for the instrument. The instrument of happiness is the mind.

I believe the mind of man is the most magnificent subject of contemplation in the universe, and what it contains is the measure of our worthiness as human beings. The mind of man, from the time he first learned to rub sticks together to produce fire, to his discovery of Atomic energy is, to me, absolute proof of man’s destiny for good. The world is full of people, varying in degree of mental and physical stature; yet all people are of a basic sameness.

During my travels abroad, I made a great personal discovery: that whether a person was born an Irishman, Englishman, Egyptian, Turk, or Swede, he eats, drinks, sleeps, loves, lives, and dies as a human being; a human being who, though subject to error, strives constantly for good. The great difference in people is the way in which they are educated to think.

I believe that each of us is here for a very definite purpose. Though we are similar by nature, our destined purpose is as individual as we are different from another. We may contribute a little or a lot, but each of us is very important to this world. I think the success of my individual life is my own personal responsibility. I know that happiness exists for all of us. Today we are creating the world of tomorrow with our thoughts, words, and deeds, just as we creating our own future. I believe this future will reveal to us a world so truly wonderful that we will rejoice in being even a little part of it.