This I Believe

Brewster, Neal

  • Neal Brewster uses the Parable of the Talents to describe his belief that he must live his life to the fullest, pursuing friendships rather than material wealth.
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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. Neal Brewster was born in Weedsport, New York seventy-three years ago. A lawyer by profession, he practiced in Syracuse most of his adult life. He was also a public servant for thirty years, a collector of internal revenue, the comptroller of the city of Syracuse, and a member of the Public Service Commission of the state of New York. The people of Syracuse have always had a warm spot in their hearts for Neal Brewster, because of his genial manner and his integrity as a public servant. Here is his creed.
The lesson taught by the parable of the master who entrusted certain of his valuables to the care of his servants during his absence on a long journey has always interested me. He entrusted them with differing numbers of talents according to their ability. Two of the servants put the talents they were entrusted with to profitable use and earned additional talents for the master. The third servant, who was entrusted with only one talent, buried it for safekeeping and had no increase to report to the master on his return home. He was a poor guardian of his master's interests.
I believe that all of us have some talent, some more, some less, and however much or little it may be it should be profitably employed.
Those with only one talent may not help much with world problems, but everyone can put his talent to some use. Whatever talent I have should be put to such use that when my labor on Earth is done, I can make a satisfactory report on my stewardship. If I put whatever talent I may have to profitable use in helping my fellow man to enjoy a fuller life, the dividends returned to me in personal satisfaction will be high. I will get from life whatever I put in to life, and the more I do for others, the greater the return to me.
Another simple rule which I believe brings happiness to both myself and others is to be a good neighbor to those with whom I come in contact and to take an interest in their problems and accomplishments. It seems to me one reason life is so very complex today is because
too many disregard the lives and interests of others. I have a firm belief in a supreme deity. Obviously faith without performance is not sufficient. If I am to avoid charges of hypocrisy, I must so conduct my daily associations with my fellow men as to convince them of my sincerity, my honesty, and my regard for and observance of the rights of others.
One of the cardinal virtues which man may possess is intellectual honesty, and one of the greatest faults is intolerance of the rights of others. I must not only recognize the rights of others, I must help to preserve those rights. I cannot secure happiness and contentment for myself if I do not help others to secure them. In my daily living, I must place greater weight on spiritual values than material
values, and emphasize giving rather than receiving. A wealth of lasting friendships has far greater value to me in personal satisfaction and happiness than material wealth, which may depart at any time.
Basically my philosophy of life is to so live that when my natural life has ended, it may be said that I have added to the sum of human happiness. It is my duty to use my faculties to the best of my ability, to help my fellow man to attain to a fuller degree his rights, both God-given and man-given. Believing in a Supreme Deity, I leave, without fear, my future to the care, wisdom, and understanding of the all-wise and omnipotent Creator.
That was Neal Brewster, a lawyer and public servant from Syracuse, New York.