An Inspiration For Living Lonely Moments In Paradise!

When the plane landed in Fort Lauderdale Florida, the pilot announced “Welcome To fishing-518775_640Paradise!”  I was excited about the pilot’s vision, which seemed at first to be mine; but, concerned about what I was running away from,  what I was losing and how empty it might feel to be without contact with everyone I had known for so long!

I had sold my practice, my home, and nearly everything I owned to move to Florida. I had given up a handful of treasured friendships, a huge number of fun acquaintances and over 12,000 patients, many of whom I knew by name and personal history for nearly 40 years.

I flashed on visions of the forest of friendships I had just willfully been transplanted away from. bamboo-142635_640For moments these thoughts made me imagine images of being a space traveler marooned on a distant, beautiful but alien unpopulated planet, perhaps Mars.

As we drove to our new home using a navigator to guide us along unfamiliar roads,  I thought that I felt for moments like the character in the story “The Martian” must have felt. Had he felt lost, lonely and wondering what tomorrow would be like as I did now? There was a big difference, of course,  from the situation of that of “The Martian” in that we were surrounded by people and a safe environment but what about my soul’s environment?   Like the Martian I had lost all that makes living life meaningful such as the relationships, trust, respect and common history. I had lost what had grown up over many years as a forest of “friendships” with different degrees of nomenclature like casual, personal or family.  More than that I had given up my relationship with my community, my practice of Holistic Eye Care, something I had invented, nurtured and grown into a giant tree.  One so strong that it had survived the financial  storms of 3 major recessions over nearly half a century.

It made me wonder what forces had created such momentum that I had been willing to leave the beautiful creation of a lifetime that had for some reason now become toxic? Something I occasionally viewed as a wasteland of destruction. oradour-sur-glane-1635802_640There was a lot to think about.  There is also no simple answer.  Some have tried such as the book “Who Stole My Cheese?”  But I was not looking for a description of change I was looking for socio-economic forces that had reshaped and redefined my world. Seven months later I think I have found it. I am a sci-fi writer because I am always searching for answers to question such as:  what is it that creates or destroys civilizations?  Why destruction and creation are so intimately intertwined? And finally does it have to be so? My own experience was now helping better define these questions and paint images of possible answers.

I think that the catalyst of the torrentuous socio-economic forces, that I had experienced so recently, might be described as the loss of responsibility and connection between the people that hand-1917895_640make up a civilization.  I thought back on 40 years ago, when I first moved to Brewster in upstate NY, where my office had been.  I recalled a farmer who had walked 3 miles to my office for his eye exam because he said, “It did not warrant starting his truck just to drive 3 miles.”  Times were different then. It was not that he walked so far so casually and so unpressured by time, that was just a description of what had changed since then. That was just a flavor of the essence of the ethos of that era that you could easily taste.  What was so different was that this farmer would soon know me by name as he did hundreds of the other people whose lives he touched every day!  Keep in mind the phrase “whose lives he touched.

40 years ago as I started my practice, I became enamored with the people  I served quite quickly. Apparently they with me too.  Six months after opening my doors to what I expected to be a weekend, part time practice, I was working full time.  I had to give up my other two part time offices. The force that made this change was the large families of  Irish and Italian heritage Americans who were soon to become my extended family.  They got to know me personally, like me and trust me. With that relationship, the whole family had to come see me and eventually most of the town.  We were all in this life together!

What changed 40 years later to make me move and give it all up for a promise of paradise but a loss of family?  In my opinion, the essential force is the loss of connection between people and the loss of responsibility for your actions or inactions.  From the viewpoint of my profession,  we saw the destruction of the doctor patient relationship created by the third party payors.  When people came to me 40 years ago, the service was thorough, affordable and easily paid for in cash.  When I left, the service was more mechanized, far less personal and no longer affordable in cash.  In fact is is the biggest disaster of American health care history.

I believe in the system of free enterprise and capitalism (with some caveats).  It has certainly worked for me for a long time. I believe that the strength of any economy is small business and entrepreneurship. Why?   Because I believe that it is the knowing of your outsource-1345109_640clients and responsibility to your community that keeps you on the straight and narrow path.  The path that for many American’s is defined on Sunday Mornings under the multicolored shafts of light falling through stained glass windows. Take away this connection and it is easy for Chinese factory owners to adulterate milk or put dangerous materials in sheet rock.  It is easy for Monsanto to create toxic herbicide that will likely soon be proven to have caused cancer in millions of people while rationalizing that they are the Horn Of Plenty that feeds civilization.  It is easy for congressmen to take millions of dollars of bribes while the Wall Street rich devour the lifeblood of America’s workers with carnivorous creations called derivatives (otherwise known as gambling).

Where there is no personal responsibility, there is no community. There is nothing to lose but the smell of fresh minted money and what temporary pleasures it might buy.  IBM, in some ways started this revolution and they became named for it.  IBM stood for “I’ve Been Moved” as in from my family, my home and my community for money’s promise.  We were willing to give up what makes life meaningful for the casino of promises that were  never fulfilled.

Somehow there has to be a way of connecting people to people and make business, its owners and its workers intimately responsible to the communities of people they serve. We must recognize that each of us holds the lives for our country’s citizens in each others hands. Not because it was so warm and fuzzy to be in the community I helped grow with me 40 years ago (though that is a good enough reason) but because otherwise the landscape of vitamins-2002561_640life becomes so toxic that the best of us will leave.  The vast majority of us do not work for money, we work for personal satisfaction, respect and a feeling of self worth, personal value. The majority of employees leave a job not because of money but because they are not treated with respect, listened to and praised for their achievement.

My experience, is that with the creation of self respect by serving a community of people we know, enough money always follows. You also get to share the wealth around if you don’t live in fear of a lack of money to cover expected personal economic crisis.  America has proven this for over 200 years.  “Too big to fail” is not an option, it is a symptom of the bribery and corruption of our government (mostly our representatives) on all levels that allows for a lack of responsibility.   It is enough to make a person run away from their home and seek a new start almost anywhere else. It is something to write about, for me.

I believe in what Walt Disney said years ago, “It is better to entertain with the hopes of educating, then educating with the hopes of entertaining.”   This is my dream and what I hope to inspire in others I get to form a community with.

Janr Ssor

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BlockChain….. will change the world!?

BlockChain is touted as the force that will democratize business and empower entrepreneurial creation.  It does sound exciting however, I do recall the same promise for the InterNet….. and guess who owns all the profit centers?  Is it you?  Not likely!  However,  why miss what may be the opportunity of your lifetime? Learn more here!

 

InSourcing At GE, Could We Rebuild America’s Manufacturing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

I believe the time has never been better to rebuild America’s manufacturing base.  Here is a story about how one creative company, GE,  has done just that and succeeded!

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/07/insourcing_at_ge_the_real_stor.html

In my sci-fi writing I explore the sign wave nature of all being, the bright and the dark side of the force. It is nice to find the bright side…. here is an example.

Life Out of the Box

Check out this awesome article that Robert from Teacherpreneur wrote about LOOTB and the movement of socially conscious entrepreneurship. He talks about our Skype session we had with him and his kids, how entrepreneurs are changing the way business is being done and some examples. We’re honored to be eoncorporated under this umbrella of social entrepreneurship. But, to us, it was so natural. It’s like what we said on our business page: to this new generation, money is no longer the bottom line. Making the world a better place is. Check out this awesome article and get inspired to start something of your own. You can do it. All it takes is a dream, hard work and a little bit of courage.

To read the article, click: Business Is Good

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Gambling In Democracy

What makes America one of the most creative, productive societies in history?  Did you ever wonder? I think it is Casinos.  Actually it is really that America is a Casino!

Think of it this way,  when you go to a casino,  you see people gambling on all sorts of games. They gamble because gambling is addictive  (Oh… excuse me, it is “fun” according to those who like to work 40-60 hour weeks and then give all they have earned away in one toss of the dice).   Most of these people gamble because they see someone appear to “win” on one hand in some game and believe they are the next winner. Almost anyone can be sucked in to the gambling addiction that a casino spreads.  If you come home richer than you left and had  a great time,  chances are you will try it again and again.   Now to be fair,  many of us can control this urge.  We can have a little fun challenging the odds by coming with only so much money, we are prepared to lose, and see if we can leave with more… even though we KNOW the odds are against us.

Years ago,  I joined Amway (then called Quixtar).  It was the American Way (AmWay).  Its allure was in a way, gambling.  You could see how people in your “group” had become wealthy.  The stories were shown over and over at meetings,  on tapes you listened to and taught to you from books.   Now these were all true,  in fact the Amway people always told you it was hard getting to the top; probably the hardest thing you would ever do.  Yet, many did work hard at it despite the warnings of it being hard to achieve because you kept seeing the winners!  It was a Casino of sorts. The real odds were almost impossible to find,  just as it is for many other complex ventures.

What does gambling in a casino and Amway have to do with America?  Yesterday, I was looking at Forbes Magazine.  There was a story about Sophia Amoruso,  the founder of “Nasty Gal.”   Now Sophia’s story reads like an Amway story of how I got to be a millionaire,  which she has done.  It is simple straightforward and believable.   It does not make her look like a genius.  In other words,  in your mind you are saying,  if she can do it,  I can do it!  Now that is the Casino Way,  The AmWay  and the American Way.   Bring the casino “feeling”  home to everyone in America,  let them feel they are the next winners and they will go out and try to win and even have fun doing it.

What are your odds of succeeding in a start up business?  Entrepreneurs who succeeded in a prior venture have a 30% chance of succeeding in their next venture.   According to OnStartups.com first-time entrepreneurs only have an 18% chance of succeeding. Interestingly, those who have previously failed have a 20% chance of succeeding.  On the other hand,  statistics from the US Census Bureau reveal something entirely different. According to the Census’s Business Tracking, 66% of new businesses actually survive for two or more years!  Even more telling, 50% survive for four years, with 40% surviving for six years or longer.  What is your odds of winning in a casino?  This depends on what you are playing and how you play.  For craps,  the odds are slightly under 50%.  This means you will lose slower at this game than most.   At first glance,  it looks like you would be better off gambling than starting a business.  However, in gambling you are destined to lose the longer you play; in business you are more likely to succeed the longer you stay in the game.  Even though more businesses close over time,  those that stay in produce good results and some great results. This does not happen in gambling.

But back to my original premise,  I believe America,  its democracy and the news media we have created,  help create a “gambling casino” atmosphere.    You see the winners all over the news and if you are willing to gamble and take risks you put up your bets.   It can be more exciting than a casino as the chances of success grow with the time you put in,  rather than diminish.   And even better you can change the odds by your knowledge, networking and efforts,  something that really does not happen in gambling at a casino.

So you decide,  is America a Casino?   If you think not,  then you may just be an employee…
Janr.

Lack Of Integrity

Who’s Funding Obama And Our Financial Crisis?

More than half of the whopping $745 million Barack Obama raised for the 2008 election has come from small donors whose names the Obama campaign won’t disclose. Did you ever wonder why? This is likely more than 1/4 of a Billion dollars used to BUY the presidential election of the US and the money trail is being hidden!

I was as excited as many of my era to know a Black Man finally was going to make it to the White House! This was the coronation of the American Dream! The American ideal of an equal opportunity nation was being proven by all of us Americans. That dream of idealism was soon to be shattered.

All of us heard of the huge amount of money this man used to get elected. We all heard how it was in such small amounts that there was no legal responsibility to trace it. Oh yes, and we were told it came from young people who he swept off their feet with his elegant speeches.

Since then people have come into my office and told me that they believe Obama’s goal it to “destroy America.” I have ignored them as “fringe people.” But now with actions speaking louder than words, I have to wonder. We all know the problem with debt but this does not seem to faze Obama. At least not your debt or your children’s future debt that he is arranging.

It is also not lost on the world that Regime Change has been a tool of our country for a very long time. It is certainly not lost on the Oil Wealthy Arab World. Though terrorist know they cannot win a conventional war against us, what if they could win an unconventional one leading to regime change in America?

The financial pressures of the cold war helped defeat the USSR. That lesson is not lost on the terrorist backers of Radical Islam nor is it lost on those who are financially powerful enough to drool over the prospects of a One World Order.

Obama is reported to be raising over 1 Billion dollars for his re-election. This could buy a lot of influence. Without the Transparency, Obama is famed for promising and poor on delivering, whose money might actually dictate the outcome of our next election?

Then there are the fools in Wall Street. Do you find it weird to call such “brilliant men” fools? The people who made America are the average hard working people with common sense who built America as individuals and when needed in our Armed Forces. Their common sense came from the Bible and frequently the words of Jesus and the lives of men like Abraham and Moses. The guys on Wall St, are no smarter than the nerds who create great software or technology wonders. This is a usefulkind of “Smart” tool but it is what frequently causes disasters as it is aMyopic Smart. It lacks common sense! These “brilliant fools” as I call them, are greedy enough to take down America with their “financial tools” such as derivatives that are so clever that only these “geniuses” understand them! Their egos know no end as they think they are so superior to the “average man.” The bible does warn about lacking humility. The problem is this lack of humility does not only take down the fool who adores himself but it can affect all of us as it has recently done financially. Do you think this is not lost on those foreigners whose financial wealth could be used here too, to destroy us?

Finally add to this the foolishness of many average Americans who thought or Wanted to think that their homes would go up in value forever and be the Goose that laid the golden egg. It is easy to get drunk on this dream.

We are surely in danger from many quarters: A President and congress that get elected by money that comes from hidden sources, Elites on Wall street who think they are so smart, Common men whose common sense can evaporate!

What is the solution? There is no simple one but there is much to be done. Transparency in ALL financial donations to politicians must be number one. Wall St must be made accountable on a very personal level. Let the Bankers go bankrupt! When one man loses money it inevitably falls to another. I have a feeling that Bankers losing means home owners winning. As for the average guy who buys more than he can handle, he deserves to suffer the consequences of his actions. None of us would reward our children’s failures with parental support! What makes this different?

Doctors today put people who are “stressed out” on many different drugs for depression. This keeps them from dealing with reality and solving their problems. Yes, doctors can be stupid too! Paying off all the fools who have created America’s financial crisis with money taken from our children’s future is no less then druggingAmerica’s pain with money pills. Sooner or later you still have to deal with it.