This I Believe

Brown, Dale


  • Dale Brown describes his belief that he must repay the debt he owes to his community through service to others in the community, as well as his belief that we must strive for tolerance, limiting anger and listening to others.
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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. Dale Brown is a Cleveland, Ohio bank executive. After his graduation from Western Reserve University, he was admitted to the Ohio State Bar. He was an infantry captain and was decorated for his service in World War I. Upon his discharge, Dale Brown went to work for the Chamber of Commerce, and later, the Better Business Bureau. In 1931, he entered the banking profession, and is now in charge of public relations at the National City Bank of Cleveland. This is what Dale Brown believes.
I have been in business and in daily contact with people for more than thirty-five years. During that time, I have come to the belief, held by many others, that no man is all good or all evil. There is much more good than bad in most of us. I keep this in mind in dealing with people. It is surprising how it helps to bring about amicable results and right decisions.
I have long held the opinion that I am continually in debt to the community in which I live and work, whether that community is as small as a crossroads, or as large as our largest city. How can I pay that debt? By devoting as much of my time, my talent, and my money, as I can to the service of that community.
I have often heard men say, in answering the query as to why they devoted so much time to community enterprises, “because my town has been good to me, and I want to be good to my town.” That makes good sense to me. Someone once said that if you can’t say something nice about a person, say nothing. There comes a glow of satisfaction when one refrains from saying ill of a person, no matter how great the temptation. This pays off because with that reputation you gain not only self-respect, but the growing respect of an ever-increasing circle of people. I try to practice this concept as far as human frailty will permit.
I believe in the tolerance of the points of view of others. This does not mean blind acceptance for the purpose of currying favor,
but a genuine tolerance born in the heart. Understanding follows if there is a studied attempt and a genuine effort to be sympathetic, regardless of the degree and intensity of differences. It’s good for the soul to recognize this principal. Out of tolerance is born kindliness. I believe human relationships in both social and business life founded on kindly tolerance advance the cause of human relations.
Can anger play any significant role in my relationship with others? I believe this is seldom true. I lose respect for people who resort to anger to prove that they are right. A loss of temper seldom helps in the solution of any problem. I say “seldom," because there are times when indignation is necessary. Some call it “righteous indignation.” My problem has always been to recognize when
those times are at hand. I believe there is a place for expressed indignation and the problem lies only in the ability to know when to use this dangerous tool.
I believe in listening. Many people have to cultivate the art of listening during a conversation. Most of us like to talk, but the attentive listener can learn a great deal more by using his ears, than by using his vocal cords. Failure to listen can lead to decisions based on only a portion of the facts, and often such decisions are wrong ones. I believe the day-to-day application of the Golden Rule is a sound way to practice human relations.
That was Dale Brown, whose balanced creed has stood him in good stead in a useful and active career.