Here are some of the things people have said about me.
David makes everything clearer and richer and calmer and delightful-er. I count myself extremely lucky to have ever found such a friend and I would expect some kind of cosmic event if everyone on earth were to have someone like him.Isabelle Agerbak
David Leon is that rare thing: someone genuinely deeply interested in the classic heritage of philosophy, and ready to apply it to life itself.Dr. Jessica Frazier
Lecturer in Theology and Religion at Trinity College, University of Oxford
Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Hindu studies
Thank God that you’re here, that you’re doing the work you do and that you keep going. You’ve shone a light on my life so many times.
I want to also say that your compassion is so deep and expansive. It’s like mycelium penetrating rocks, enriching the soil, and interconnecting whole forests. You help me to grow.E.(L.S.)A.
david, you are my favourite person. you have flaws, but your self-awareness and cerebral suppleness has reduced and mitigated those flaws to an extent i have seen in no other human being.Agnibho Gangopadhyay
DPhil in History, University of Oxford
[I sneakily took that quote from a private message.
When he found out, he insisted on writing the following, “proper” one.]
David Leon has an immense – perhaps unique – capacity to forgive. It is not a ‘matter of the heart’ or not some ‘natural gift’, to speak colloquially. To be able to forgive is the sheer materiality of his intellect. It is an effect of his location in the absolute limits of knowledge and experience – even into the crevasse beyond. It flows from risk-ridden philosophical effort that establishes his subjectivity as consistently subjective with no soothing antidote of the objective. In a thoroughly antagonistic gesture to the current state of affairs, his capacity to forgive does not pertain to the logic of alterity, but to the logic of sameness. He is perhaps an entirely new form of the Communist-being, and thus – a humble model for the ‘new man’. His path is impossible – may he follow this path.
I truly believe that everything David does is out of a sincere love for all people and a pure desire to apply his intellect to helping them. David has this exceptional ability to make you feel ‘seen’. He is both extraordinarily kind and a keen observer of human nature, and he helped me gain and develop insights about myself that I still use to inform how I interact with the world.Danielle v.d.P.
Sometimes in life you meet people who inspire you to see the world differently and spend your days more joyfully. David did that for me two years ago and the impact hasn’t faded.Holly Morgan
By the way, thanks for getting me hooked on philosophy back in Berlin. In Vienna I met a girl who had majored in philosophy during her studies. So that’s one of the topics that got the ball rollling and now we’re marriedDenis Popov
When a surely kind feelingKulbir Hayer
walks to you on words
It fatedly comes dressed
in garments of grammar
cloths of conventions,
through old draperies
of even older dispositions.
Now, conceive a man
who were to strive
to understand Kindness Itself,
to perceive its true nature
beyond all appearances.
Would he not sift into his heart
all the Kind of this world
to forge of Kindness
an ineffable image?
Such a man would not only
discern its forms
but would live
and sleep with Kindness.
Now, let by Kindness be understood
That which is to be understood.
…then that man is David Leon.
Though you boast of the name David Lion,Prof. Richard Gombrich
Which suggests you’re the man to rely on,
When Goliath appears
You cry, crippled by fears,
“Don’t be mad — it was only a try-on.”
Boden Professor of Sanskrit Emeritus at the University of Oxford
Founder-President of the Oxford Centre for Buddhist Studies
President of the Pali Text Society (1994–2002)
General Editor Emeritus of the Clay Sanskrit Library
[Proof, if anyone should ever dream of contesting it,
of the extreme timidity and self-doubt of my youth.]