This I Believe

Rosenblum, Sidney


  • Sidney Rosenblum, Vice-president of the Enro Shirt Company, describes growing up in the only Jewish family in a small town in Tennessee; yet despite differences in religion, his family still found much in common with their community, and he believes in equality and the importance of serving others.
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And now, This I Believe, a series of living philosophies presented in the hope they may help to strengthen and enrich your life. Here is Edward R. Murrow.
This I Believe. Sidney Rosenblum is Executive Vice-President of the Enro Shirt Company in Louisville, Kentucky. He founded this business with his father and two brothers in 1919, and has been active in Louisville industry and civic affairs ever since. During World War II, Mr. Rosenblum served with the Navy and received special training at Northwestern University. Here are his beliefs.
I was born and brought up in a small country town of about 1500 population. I am of the firm belief that I enjoyed advantages of down-to-earth community feelings, friendships, and even obligations that a large city does not offer.
My mother used to remind me that everyone in our town was our friend and that we were to respect them and always to remember that there was good in everyone. I soon learned that our citizens were judged for what they do, more than for who they are.
My parents were foreign-born, and when they settled in the little community of Springfield, Tennessee, in the early 1880s, they were the only family of Jewish faith there. But the matter of religion made little difference, since friends were made and cultivated through interests, age groups, and the usual likes and dislikes. People were just concerned with the welfare of their neighbors, and they were quick to be helpful whenever the occasion arose. How well I can recollect that when Sundays came along, my mother used to say, “Go to church with the boys and girls. It’s much better than associating with
those who keep away from churches.”
There were no automobiles or bus travel in those days and we had to take the train for Nashville, Tennessee, to attend services of our faith. We always did this on the high holidays. How could I help but believe that every person was born with good in him, and even though it may be hard to bring out the good in a small percentage of individuals it certainly is there, and one should not be too quick to condemn or criticize. I grew to understand that it did not take wealth or success or creed or color to make friends. Today I firmly believe that friendship is one of my life’s most precious assets.
I had become of teen age when we moved to Louisville, Kentucky, which is still my home. It was here, in 1919, that our present business was organized by my father, my two brothers, and myself. As our business grew it became possible for me
to give more time to outside activities. I became a member of the Rotary Club, the motto of which is, “Service Above Self.” I began to realize, more than ever, that even after my early teachings, I had not put enough effort into the needs of others. I was appointed a member of the Rotary Crippled Children’s Committee, the work of which I soon learned was of great interest and appeal. I began to see the good that could be done for others less fortunate than I and, comparatively speaking, with little time and effort on my part, but with a measurable benefit to others, and satisfaction and contentment to me in return.
This all led to my interest in the Boy Scout organization and their program of building citizens of tomorrow, and ultimately to the fine work being done for the others by the Salvation Army. I found myself spending more and more time in civic and communal affairs,
which resulted in a different kind of dividend—in many ways more pleasant than clipping an interest-bearing coupon. I suppose that as one grows older the satisfaction of aiding others becomes greater.
Finally, I cannot help but believe that life is really what I put into it, and if I will but determine to give thought and consideration to others and to remember that all men are born free and equal, I will derive a pleasure and a keen and indescribable gratification that one can get in no other way.
That was the creed of Sidney Rosenblum, a Louisville, Kentucky businessman, who has discovered that service to others pays big dividends in terms of personal satisfaction.