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Denver, Colorado, United States
I'm a Vietnam Vet, Retired Mainframe Programmer, Retired College Adjunct Teacher, Published Author, Adult Boy Scout Leader, Republican, Jewish, married with two magnificent grown kids.

Sam Levinson's Will

One of the great stand-up comics of the 1950's was a little, jewish former school teacher named Sam Levinson. Levinson was a regular feature on the old Ed Sullivan Show. He talked about growing up in a first generation American, Jewish home. His humor was always clean and got you in the gut.

I came across his "Ethical Will". I now share this with you.

Sam Levinson’s Ethical Will

I leave you my unpaid debts. They are my greatest assets.
Everything I own, I owe:
1. To America I owe a debt for the opportunity it gave me to be free and to be me.
2. To my parents I owe America. They gave it to me and I leave it to you. Take good care of it.
3. To the biblical tradition I owe the belief that man does not live by bread alone, nor does he live alone at all. This is also the democratic tradition. Preserve it.
4. To the six million of my people and to the thirty million other humans who died because of man’s inhumanity to man, I owe a vow that it must never happen again.
5. I leave you not everything I never had, but everything I had in my lifetime: a good family, respect for learning, compassion for my fellow man and some four-letter words for all occasions: words like help, give, care, feel and love.

Love, my dear grandchildren, is easier to recommend than to define. I can tell you only that like those who came before you, you will surely know when love ain’t; you will also know when mercy ain’t and brotherhood ain’t.

The millennium will come when all the “ain’ts” shall become “ises” and all the “ises” shall be for all, even for those you don’t like.

Finally, I leave you the years I should like to have lived so that I might possibly see whether your generation will bring more love and peace to the world than ours did. I not only
hope you will. I pray that you will.

I dedicate this to my children and yours. Happy Thanksgiving.