This I Believe

Simons, Leonard N.


  • Leonard Simons describes his beliefs that satisfaction comes from helping others, that the list of charitable organizations he has helped is just as important as his list of paying clients, that he is fortunate to live a useful life, that any money beyond what is needed for his family's security is devoted to helping others, and that serving others is troublesome, but a source of fun, as well.
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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. Leonard N. Simons is a partner in an advertising agency. In addition, he is one of Detroit's most active and valuable citizens. His activities include welfare, business, and interfaith organizations, both on the community and national level. Here is the creed which motivates this untiring service.
I believe with all my heart that man was put on this earth to serve mankind. The satisfaction I get whenever I have the opportunity to accomplish something worthwhile for someone or some group, is proof to me that life’s biggest thrills are secured
from deeds of kindness and goodwill. For me, to earn the warm thanks expressed in a sincere handshake for something which I have done, is reward beyond measure.
When I was a boy, I lived with my grandparents. Here were two people who had very little of the material things, yet I never heard them complain. The affection and respect they had for each other and for those with whom they came in contact made an indelible impression upon me.
In the tradition of my religion, when a boy reaches thirteen, he becomes of age, a man. My grandfather, at the time, gave me these words of wisdom: “Love, respect, and generosity are the three most important words in the dictionary. If you have certain talents that permit you someday to make a lot of money, then remember this, my boy. A shroud has no pockets.” My
grandparents’ philosophy of life has been the inspiration for my own.
Twenty-three years ago I became a partner in an advertising agency. I determined, then, that I would set aside a part of my time to the job of helping—without payment or fee—organizations and people who had need for the type of assistance which I was qualified to give. Since that time, I have lived by that plan. And while our list of business clients is far from the most impressive one in our profession, our list of charitable, civic, and national organizations which we have assisted represents an effort on my part to play service to my fellow man on as high and universal a plane as I can attain. That list gives me the most satisfaction when I take inventory of my assets.
I am indeed fortunate, because I lead a full and happy life. I believe that by trying to live usefully, I have become a better man
myself. And in so doing, have earned the respect of my neighbors and the love of my family. What more could anyone ask?
I believe that death is not final. Yet, by virtue of what I have been able to contribute to the happiness of others, I continue to live in the memory of the many people with whom I have been associated. It is my belief that the money I earn is only as good as the good it can do during my lifetime. Beyond what I believe I need for my family’s security, the rest belongs to the service of my fellow man. I believe I should try to help, in my own small way, to create a better world in which to live and in which to raise a family, by continuing to extend a friendly hand to those who need my help. I try to judge men by the goodness of their hearts. I have found peace of mind in trying to do the things that I hope will find favor in the eyes of God.
Years ago, I read a statement of Charles Schwabb, former president of U.S. Steel Corporation, and it strengthened my own philosophy of life. He said, “Most of my troubles have been due to my being good to people. If young folks want to avoid trouble, they should be hardboiled and say no to everybody. Then they will walk through life unmolested. But, they will do without friends, and won’t have much fun.” I believe he was right, and that my own true worth—my real wealth—is the large number of friends that I have. If I reach a ripe old age, I believe I shall be able to draw on a rich storehouse of memories.
There the beliefs of Leonard N. Simons, a Detroit advertising man with a strong sense of responsibility for his fellow men.