National Geographic : 1925 Apr
A MUTUAL ORGANIZATION- FOUNDED IN 1845 NEW YORK LIFE INSURANCE Co. (Incorporated under the Laws of New York) 346 BROADWAY, NEW YORK, N. Y. EIGHTIETH ANNUAL STATEMENT To the Policy-holders: I am addressing an audience of about seven and a half million people. I directly address one and one-half million thoughtful men and women each of whom is responsible in some fashion for about four others. My theme is your relation to each other and to your neighbors through the New York Iife Insurance Company. I assume that mere figures about the Company have ceased to interest you in the old way. \Vhether we have in assets more or less than a billion dollars or do more or less than seven hundred million dollars of new business in a year is interesting now, chiefly because these once amazing facts tell how widely useful you are as a part of a vast social enterprise which is both beneficent and beneficial. May I in this year of grace try to give you a new thought about yourselves and-if I may so put it-about your duty to others. You are the plain people that Lincoln referred to. Few of you are very rich; few are very poor. You are always quick to help your neighbor, even at some sacrifice to yourself. If your neighbor is ill you sympathize with him, and if you know of some way in which you can help him you eagerly offer your services. If Diphtheria threatens him and his family and you know that he does not understand about the Diphtheria serum, you almost force him to get it and get it quickly. You do the same about Typhoid or Pneumonia or Scarlet Fever. If you are a farmer you tell your fellow farmer of any process you know by which his crop may be increased or how his methods of marketing may be improved. You are moved by the same impulse if you are a physician or a lawyer or a merchant or a teacher or a mechanic or a clerk or a day lahorer. You do these things spontaneously. You ex pect no reward. You know your neighbor would gladly do the same for you. In other words, your neighbors' welfare has become a part of your own life; your welfare is their concern, too. This we call the milk of human kindness. You could perform your greatest neighborly service in 1925, almost work a miracle in be neficence, if you would recognize the remedial power of life insurance in your relations with your neighbor. You hesitate because you think that whether or not your neighbor insures his life is his private affair. Insuring his life is no more your neighbor's private affair than is the condition of his health. Imuprovidence is just as real and just as daInger ous s Disease. The poverty which follows both is worse than either. The future welfare of your neighbor's children and his own security in old age are your con cern. You have observed the beneficent work of life insurance. Why not talk seriously to your neighbor about what you know ? Has it brought you peace of mind? Tell him so. Has it taught you to save money? Show him how. Are you getting more out of life for yourself and your wife because you know your children will be pro vided for? Explain that to him. You will generally have a sympathetic auditor because he himself has seen widows saved from dire poverty, families kept together and children educated by life insurance. You and your neighbor have seen life insurance help your community and State in other ways; by loans on farms, homes, business buildings, the purchase of the bonds of your Town or County or State-through the purchase of Railroad bonds and the bonds of the great public utility corporations that are so rapidly increasing human efficiency and human comfort.