This I BelieveDavenport, Barbara Dean
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And now, This I Believe. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Barbara Dean Davenport is one of America’s unofficial spokesmen in Japan. Born in Massachusetts, educated in Europe, she was a fashion designer in California until she went to the Far East with her air force husband. Her lectures and articles won her fame in Japan. Since her return to the United States she has continued to serve Japanese-American relations through her contributions to Tokyo publications and her book entitled “The Other Side of the Mirror.” Here now are the personal beliefs of Mrs. Barbara Dean Davenport.
I believe this to be a new day, a new era, the period which history set aside for the establishing of one world. I am willing to accept the challenge of my age because all other roads lead to the highway of failure. The oneness of mankind is the pivot around which must resolve world peace. This I believe to be the most difficult assignment given to any generation. I differ with those theories which do not provide a remedy for the ills which have attacked human relationships everywhere. I believe just as all creative things have their degree of maturity, so does the collective life of humanity. Problems of past generations required answers according to the needs of the time. These remedies could neither meet nor satisfy the demands of today’s problems.
I believe this is the coming of age for the whole human race, its maturity. I am grateful to be a part of what I believe is a glorious new cycle in human power, in which blind faith is beneath the dignity of man and independent investigation of truth is opened to all. I believe the realm of truth is inexhaustible, the creator of truth is God. Everything which contributes to human progress as a whole must have its beginning with each individual as a necessary factor in this progress. The greater the darkness that envelopes our world, the nearer the dawn. In like manner, the greater obstacles for world peace, the greater must be our devotion for its objective.
In 1949, I was among the thousands privileged to witness one of history’s great affairs, that of linking together East and West, for I was in Japan. With the swiftness of our time, the issue to be faced was no longer who was right or who was wrong. But it was whether men of different minds, different beliefs, cultures, and colors, could live in peace together. I believe this generation can take pride in a unique experience. For we did not stumble, but set a purpose, where millions and millions of men moved into the arena of trust.
Being fortunate enough to have traveled a goodly part of the globe, concrete experience has taught me that this goal toward which we are being impelled is no mere pious ideal or the vain imaginings of a few, but the cold hard facts of reality for this century. Estimable men and women everywhere are dedicated to this principle of oneness. They have shifted their thinking—changed gears, so to speak—in order to promote the best interest of all who dwell on earth. Our world will be at rest when it is put into practice.
Valhalla has said that the concept of unity is capable of changing man’s consciousness to the level of a world perspective. I believe the dark corridors of tragedy we find ourselves in are due to the spiritual disobedience of all. We have been unwilling to accept the evolution of a true society in which peoples and nations maintain their individuality, yet subordinate their particular interests to the welfare of humanity as a whole. And through these diverse contributions create a world culture richer and more rewarding than any known in history. I believe that creative world peace is obtainable through the oneness of mankind.
That was Barbara Dean Davenport, a writer of Grosse Point, Michigan.