The Origins of My Philosophy

Have been asked to write on where and how I believe my philosophy begins. And incidentally, I invite any request for writing a paper. Obviously enjoy the challenge. Please feel free to suggest stuff for me to try writing about. The only restriction is that it must be what I have studied and experienced. One way or the other it still comes down to my experiences. It has always been my experiences I held as my truth. Reading other people’s stuff has never been accepted as gospel by me until I put it to the test of experience. This approach has never failed to be a learning experience for me and as a consequence, others.

So where does my philosophy of living and working with people begin? In my mind I believe it all began in my family. My Mom was loving and giving even if she had so little material things to give, so she gave love and shared all else. My Dad labored through the depression doing his best to put food on the table; a hard worker, a strong union man and never a blamer. Also, never remember starving, but do remember lots of soup. My only sister was a queen, 2ndoldest and very special to each of us (five brothers and I was fifth in line and one younger brother. I only remember one bathroom wherever we lived and we moved often. Tight living, competition and tension between my brothers existed, but I was never involved in this tension. I honestly believe I did my best to be a bridge of peace between them. In other words they all liked me and treated me well. They were each so different so learning about and living with uniqueness was the way it was and must have given me insight in the importance of differences? Space had to be respected and given.

Beginning very early on in elementary school until most of us left for the service I was a member of a gang that stayed, played and ran together. It was a very close relationship between us. Growing up in a Jewish ghetto clearly made its impression on each of us. Each handled the experience differently. Some remained very Jewish, some not and a few became warriors. I became a warrior and that meant to fight and defend anyone that could not or would not defend themselves. 

Being without future goals other than joining the merchant marines and seeing the world, my experiences in the army introduced me to three Japanese prisoners of war and our company captain. They played a huge hand in changing my life and giving me direction and purpose I simply did not have. Here again, I see that experience makes the difference in one’s life. It most certainly did with me.

Without question I believe and am my own best example that when open and vulnerable to what is taking place around you and the people that are part of the action, one’s life cannot be what it is and was. Change takes place.

So my philosophy includes being true to one’s self and having the courage “to be;” to take risk and in the process learn as much as you can.  Now here is the kicker. If you do this for yourself, you must want this and do this for all others that you meet along the way.  Sy 


Self is not one’s self—————But a mix of many things———-Life and living full. 

Life treats me so well————I must return what I can————Life decides not me.