John D. Rockefeller, Jr.’s Creed - Countdown: 38 Days

July 18, 2012 Posted by: Grand Teton National Park

Do you have your own philosophy of life?  

John D. Rockefeller, Jr.'s life was strongly influenced by a sense of stewardship, his deeply held religious beliefs, and his interest in social programs. During a radio broadcast on July 8, 1941, he expressed in one concise statement his philosophy of life. He gave this statement of principles that was widely reprinted under the title, "I Believe":

I Believe

I believe in the supreme worth of the individual and in his right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.

I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master.

I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.

I believe that thrift is essential to well ordered living and that economy is a prime requisite of a sound financial structure, whether in government, business or personal affairs.

I believe that truth and justice are fundamental to an enduring social order.

I believe in the sacredness of a promise, that a man's word should be as good as his bond; that character -- not wealth or power or position -- is of supreme worth.

I believe that the rendering of useful service is the common duty of mankind and that only in the purifying fire of sacrifice is the dross of selfishness consumed and the greatness of the human soul set free.

I believe in an all-wise and all-loving God, named by whatever name, and that the individual's highest fulfillment, greatest happiness, and widest usefulness are to be found in living in harmony with His will.

I believe that love is the greatest thing in the world; that it alone can overcome hate; that right can and will triumph over might.

Seventy years after this radio address, do you find that Rockefeller's beliefs align with yours?  Do you think any of these principles apply towards our national park system?

Last updated: July 26, 2012

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