Two Men In A Hospital Room

July 31, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. 

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. 

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. 

The men talked for hours on end.  They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation..

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene. 

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed. 

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. 

She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away. 

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone. 

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.  He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed. 

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.  She said, ‘Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.’ 


There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.  So if you haven’t tried it, go out today and help someone.


A Very Simple Story

July 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

I just came across the below story and wanted to share with you.  It is simple and poignant. 

“A saint asked his disciples, ‘Why do we shout in anger? Why do people shout at each other when they are upset?’

Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, ‘Because we lose our calm, we shout for that.’

‘But, why to shout when the other person is just next to you?’ asked the saint. ‘Isn’t it possible to speak to him or her with a soft voice? Why do you shout at a person when you’re angry?’

Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the saint.

Finally he explained, ‘When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other through that great distance.’

Then the saint asked, ‘What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, why? Because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is very small…’

The saint continued, ‘When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’

MORAL: When you argue do not let your hearts get distant, do not say words that distance each other more, else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return.”


Easy Does It

July 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

When the DMV alerted my daughter that she passed all of the necessary tests to award her a California driver’s license, you would have thought that she won the California lottery.  Needless to say, she was ecstatic …. and rightfully so.  I actually started teaching her to drive when she was just twelve years old; her feet couldn’t even reach the pedals at the time.  She would sit in my lap and I would let her steer.  Of course, her mom wasn’t privy to all of these “lessons”; they were our “little secret”, though the grounds keepers at the Great Western Forum, former home of the Los Angeles Lakers, could have easily spilled the beans.

As time wore on my not-so-little girl was catching on and started to get bored with the seemingly endless circles we’d make in the huge parking lot.   Well, faster than it seems possible, she and I were shopping for her first car just last week.  Guess who fell in love with he first car she test drove?  Well, it wasn’t me.  My daughter’s decision was the perfect fodder for my thoughts for this posting.

I explained to her that buying a car is not like buying a dress.  If you purchase the dress and get home to find that it’s not the color you thought it was,  you have the option of returning it.  I also managed to mention how you don’t have to insure a dress or maintain it or pay for it monthly through the years.  Her focus was pure and simple: to have her first car.  

There are some who treat their cars like they should treat people and …. there are some people who treat people like they are cars.  Depending on your perspective, either may work for you.   What I hope works for all of us is that things (i.e relationships) of value are not appreciated overnight.  They are not forced, they are nurtured; they are not haphazardly formulated, they congeal.  It’s not about getting to the finish line first, it’s about staying in the race at the speed that is comfortable for you. 

So many of us are absorbed in the the turned up pace of the new millennium that we often ignore the gentler days of yesteryear.  I think that it’s fine, as a matter of fact, healthy, to get excited about so many things.  I also think that the laws of the universe have suggested that comfort and success are found by those who comply with an even keel approach.  Before we rush to or into a situation, we should take our time to procure the best results.  Simply put, easy really does it.


Immigrant Surgeon

July 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

If you ever thought your dreams were beyond your scoop, watch this video and you’ll be inspired to change your mind.


Sean Goldman

July 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

I was just reading today on the updates on a custody case between a biological American dad and a Brazilian step dad.  In the middle is a nine year old child named Sean.

Quickly, the story is, American man marries Brazilian woman in New Jersey and have a son, Sean.  Brazilian woman takes son to Brazil for a vacation.  Once there Brazilian woman calls American dad and tells him she’s not coming back.  American dad goes to a New Jersey court and gets full custody.  Brazilian Woman goes to court in Brazil and gets custody.

Brazilian woman marries another man, Brazilian this time.  Brazilian woman gets pregnant but dies during child birth.  Now Brazilian stepdad does not want to return Sean to American dad because he says he loves the boy like his own son.  The Brazilian woman’s family also does not want to return the boy.  In the meantime the 9-year old is being pulled in all different directions.

What a drama!  Everyone loves and wants to keep this boy for their own reasons but I do think Sean needs to be returned to his American father. 

Sean has been living away from his dad since 2004 in a very privileged home environment in Brazil but something must feel amiss to him; his mom is now gone and his dad, who by all accounts had a loving relationship with him, is not in his life. 

I’m sure Sean’s stepdad loves him but so does his real father, David Goldman.  The courts say the parents don’t really matter as much as what is best for a child.  But truthfully in this case who knows what is best for Sean Goldman? 

My suggestion would be to return Sean to David and give them a chance to have a relationship and if in a couple of years from now Sean is unhappy and wanted to return to Brazil, he then should be allowed to do so.

Bruna the mother, made a mistake by kidnapping Sean from his father.  At that point in time she was thinking about what made more sense to her, not what made more sense to Sean.  Why are the courts so reticence in rectifying a mistake done by a woman who was in search of her own happiness in spite of how that would affect her son?

Why is that the stepfather believes that his love for Sean should trumped a stolen relationship?


All We Need Is Love

July 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured

Love is one of the most confusing and wonderful parts of life. There is perhaps no subject about which so many stories, songs and poems have been written. Speculation about it is always an area of fascination, particularly for women.

But what is love and do we really need it? It’s common to hear people say they’re happy to be alone and can live without it.

If you have an interest in this subject, the experiments of famed American psychologist Harry Harlow from the 1950s onwards are worth hearing about. He arguably did more to expand our understanding of the psychological underpinnings of love than anyone before him.

Before I continue, readers should be aware that the experiments I’m going to talk about involve animals – specifically monkeys. Some of these can be viewed as disturbing and cruel, and if you don’t wish to hear about such things, now’s the time to stop reading and explore elsewhere on the site.

Let me say up-front, that I find some of these experiments uncomfortable to hear about also. But the results are so fascinating that they’re difficult to ignore. There could be an interesting ethical debate on this point about whether the ends justify the means, but that’s a subject for another article.

Dr Harlow conducted his experiments on love using infant macaque monkeys, because of the similarity of behavior they display with human children.

“The macaque infant differs from the human infant in that the monkey is more mature at birth and grows more rapidly,” Harlow said in a paper on the subject, “but the basic responses relating to affection, including nursing, contact, clinging, and even visual and auditory exploration, exhibit no fundamental differences in the two species. Even the development of perception, fear, frustration, and learning capability follows very similar sequences in rhesus monkeys and human children.”

Harlow’s interest was mainly in how love developed between mother and child, and the effects of that relationship on later responses to affection. He first got the idea for his experiments when he noticed that baby monkeys separated from their mothers developed emotional attachments to gauze cloths used to keep their cages clean. When the cloths were removed, the monkeys would often throw temper tantrums until they were returned. Harlow speculated that the cloths might be being used as surrogate mothers.

To test his theory, he created two fake mothers for his baby monkeys – one made of wire and one made of cloth and warmed from within by a light bulb. Both “mothers” were given a face, and a “breast” in the form of a bottle from which the babies could feed. Both fulfilled all the biological needs of their “children”, feeding them and so forth, but only the cloth mother was made with comfort in mind. The monkeys showed very little interest in the wire mothers, but developed strong attachments to the cloth mothers – clinging to them tightly and becoming distressed when they were removed.

Even if two mothers were provided – a wire one with milk and a cloth one without – the monkeys would prefer the latter. The conclusion was that comfort was much more important to the babies than other variables such as feeding.

If Harlow separated baby monkeys from their new cloth mothers, even for long periods, the importance of the relationship was never forgotten. As soon as their surrogate mother was returned, the monkeys would immediately rush to cling desperately to her.

The babies given cloth mothers also grew to be more psychologically stable than those who had only wire mothers. This was demonstrated when they were put into dangerous and strange situations, such as having noisy toy-robots put into the cages with them. Those with cloth mothers to cling to during the ordeal showed a much greater level of bravery, and much less negative emotion, than those who had no surrogate comfort mother present. The level of psychological security given by these immobile mother figures was found to be very high.

Monkeys who had been raised alone, with no such cloth surrogate, showed no emotional response when one was initially introduced to their cages. Although in time, they could also be shown to develop a strong attachment.

In observation, the level of affection displayed in babies raised by a surrogate mother was very similar to that between a real mother and baby. Both types grew to be more psychologically and physically healthy than those who were denied any type of mother, even though all biological needs were taken care of in all the subjects.

At this point, Harlow’s experiments grew darker. He began to design surrogate mothers that he called “Iron Maidens”. These were mothers with all the comfortable features of the cloth mothers, but who also had the ability to turn evil. Without warning, they would prod their babies with metal spikes or blow cold air against them so hard that they were pushed against the side of the cage.

Despite the cruelty of his “Iron Maidens”, Harlow noticed something interesting. No matter how abusive the evil mothers were, the baby monkeys always came back and displayed affection towards them.

Even in the face of abuse, the need for love was overwhelming. It seemed anything was preferable to being without it.

Another interesting result came from these “tough-love” experiments. The worse the mothers abused their “children”, the more needy those children became. This showed the myth that you can toughen people up against love by denying it to them is wrong. We need it, and removing it will just damage us, not make us stronger.

Harlow’s experiments, while sometimes dark, tell us a basic truth about ourselves. We are not just robots engaged in a mindless search for fulfilling our biological requirements. Instead, love is at the very center of our being. In fact, it can be shown to be more important to us than even our more basic physical needs.

Harlow’s means were definitely disturbing, but his results tell us something beautiful about what it means to be alive.



Love Celebration

July 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

What a great video. More than 5 million have watched it. Worth watching will bring a smile to your face and a tear to your eye.


Life Lessons And Other Things

July 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

Last May I bought a loft with my family in downtown LA as an investment.  I then spent about a month and a half renovating the place. The renovation was difficult as my handyman was working at the same time the graveyard shift at Home Depot.

Anyway the renovation eventually got done taking longer and costing more than I have envisioned.

Renting the place was another difficult phase; it is a renter’s market after all.

A couple of days ago I finally managed to rent the loft for less than what I had hoped to rent for but it was rented and I could move on with other things.

In the meantime my dad landed in the hospital for the third time this year, in need of four more stents in his heart, making him the record holder of max amount of stents in a heart; sixteen all together.

Yesterday, my handyman was doing some work at my house and when he was done, I asked him to go to the loft and change the garbage disposal which I had been told was broken.  The tenant’s furnishings were already there but the tenant himself was not coming in till today.

Around 6pm I decided I was done for the day, put my pajamas and planed to have a glass of wine on my backyard and then watch a movie.  It had been a real difficult week and I really just wanted some rest.

I was on the phone in the process of telling a friend of my plans for the night, when my other line rang.  I put my friend on hold when I saw it was my handyman calling.

“What’s up?” I asked.  “I think I have kinda of bad news for you.  Your loft is flooding the very chic Edison Club downstairs” he said.  I didn’t even get back to my friend.  I just switched my pajama bottoms for pants and ran out of the house without having had any food since breakfast and wearing my pajamas top.

When I arrived, the club’s manager was on the sidewalk with the VP of the HOA telling him what was going on. She was definitely upset.  I tried to take a breath but it was not good.   All I could think about was that I was going to have to break the walls, lose my tenant and have to explain to my family the financial mess I had gotten them into.

Anyway, she and I got off on the wrong foot.  She wanting me to wait till the next day before I did anything and me wanting to do something right away.  I had a new tenant moving in and I really needed to know what I was dealing with.  Needless to say we were very aggressive with each other.

We ended up calling a plumber and as time went by both of us started to calm down and she invited me to have dinner at the club while we waited for the plumber.  I accepted.

As it turns out, Barbara the manager, is a real sweet lady.  She had lost a son, had lived in NYC and had done it all.  I had lost a husband, had lived in NYC and had done it all.

As we continued to converse, she talked about the owner of the club, a guy named Andrew.  She said he was in his 40s and a self made man.  In college he had started a real estate renovation business and had become really successful.  I’m listening to the story and it is becoming more and more familiar.  She then says that Andrew had started a film production company and it was now out of town directing his first feature.

All of a sudden it all came together for me.  My husband had gone to Andrew’s house to interview him because of the amazing job, Andrew had done to his house which once had belonged to Charlie Chaplin.

Chris had mentioned Andrew to me and he wanted me to meet him because of the film connection.  I’m a film/TV writer producer.  Barbara and I could not believe the coincidence.

Almost two hours later the plumber arrives.  He was a real sweet guy and together we checked the club, my loft and next door’s loft to figure out what was happening.

Okay, now comes the real disgusting part.  The flooding was coming from the toilet.  The plumber shut the water off and promised to return the next day to fix the problem.

Moral of this long story is 1- Barbara and I could have saved ourselves a lot of aggravation if we had been a little calmer and 2 – We hadn’t assumed the worst.

My tenant will move in without knowing anything and hopefully all that ends well will stay well.


My Friend

July 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

A friend of mine who is in deep pain sent me a poem she has written.

“I am a beggar.  I beg.  That is what I do.

Sir, can you spare some love?  And what about you sir?  Will you love me tonight?  How about tomorrow? And the day after tomorrow?

I am cursed.  Cursed to watch the years roll in front of my eyes.  To witness the losses.  To withstand emptiness. 

I’m cursed. Let there be no mistake.  The moment the mother left the child she condemned the child to bear witness to the passage of time, to put up a fight, to withstand, but to finally beg. 

I beg, I beg, I beg. 

Will there ever be an end to the begging.

My heart is cold.  The ice is broken.  The storm is coming.  Do you hear the whispers? 

Lift up the veil, my gallant one and kiss the lips that utter your name.  Have no fear.  I have seen the bottom of the well.  Please, let help me not ever go there again. 

Shush me sir. 

Sir, have you got any to spare?  Please, sir, will you feed my hunger?”

I was very moved while taken aback by the depth of her pain.  As she had email the poem I thought she would like to get my support and so I called her.

She said she’s feeling really lonely and in so much need to be loved and to love.  I told her I loved her, but she said “thank you but I mean a partner”. 

I think we often make the mistake of thinking that others can fill the holes we have within us but if we are honest with ourselves we know that is not the case. 

Life is complex and never made up of one constant color or feeling.  No one is always happy, satisfied, unhappy, depressed, and/or anxious.  I think somehow we need to learn to navigate these waters for ourselves.  Of course having a partner, being in love is a wonderful thing but even being in love goes through highs and lows. 

I have realized I am my own master piece, that my life is about learning who I am and overcoming and changing the parts of me that need a little chiseling.  I am my one and only constant companion and therefore I need to learn to love myself.  If I can accomplish that finding moments of happiness and love from the simple things, will be an easier endeavor.

I hope my friend can calm down and realize that she already has the love to comfort her within her own self.


Double Amputee Looses Leg, Finds A Cause

July 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Inspiring People


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