Agree or Disagree?

During most conversations with family, friends, and co-workers, we want (and probably expect) that we’ll be agreed with. Sometimes, we’ll know up-front that we are in total disagreement over our positions, whether it be politics, food, restaurants, vacation sites, weather, etc.

Should knowing that we disagree on important (and maybe trivial) issues keep us from relationships and communication? I would hope not. Differences of opinion are vital— if only because it’s possible we might learn something. Remember also, that opinions are not necessarily the truth or a fact. They are often based on hearsay or a belief so strong that it is turned into a fact even if totally unprovable. How often do we come across this?

Since humans began to communicate with and to each other, they have had feelings and thoughts as basic as hunger, fear, and even elation over killing an animal for food. Our ancestors must have had many opinions about what was doable, possible, or inventive—like skinning animal skins to wear and help keep them warm.

So, a good disagreement may be an important step in learning something different or completely new. I experience this when I write. I may use a word that, upon re-reading, I feel is wrong for what I want to express—or the spelling is strange, yet the spell-check does not pick it up. So, I check both spelling and meaning. It’s amazing how often I learn something new.

The point here is to not let disagreements, regardless of the subject or issue, keep you from relationships and the possibility of dialogue. We humans have the built-in capacity to learn, to change and to GROW!

Becoming Oneself

We are unique. Each of us is an individual. Being this and remaining so is the job given to us at birth that continues to our death. I am that, and so are you, but not without help from our families and the world we will move into as we grow.
I don’t mean to suggest that without help and nurturing that we will not become ourselves. We are always ourselves, even if we hide behind our masks and personalities. The serious problem is that pretending to be someone other than yourself is impossible.

Of course, that gambit is always attempted, but failure with those close to you is assured. Moreover, that failure will constantly come between you, your friends and acquaintances, and those you work and live with. Living a lie has got to be hell for all concerned.

Then, why do people do this? It must begin early in our life. Parents and family are so influential that the marks inadvertently or deliberately made on our psyche are life-long scars we carry, whether hidden or obvious.

Thankfully, help in becoming as fully oneself as possible exists. It is found in and during the relationships with those I label a “leader.” Ideally, this leader is fully committed to you becoming you. They could be a teacher in school, your gang leader, a social friend, a leader at work, your mate, or maybe… and only maybe, a therapist you spend years with… And they’d have to be exceptional!
I make the case that becoming as much oneself as possible is our lifetime journey, with every experience either contributing to or detracting from our being. Never give up the fight “to be.”


Like Family

Sharing a dialogue with someone I have been close to for 70-plus years is always a wonderful experience. I’m lucky in that I have this opportunity with many. While agreement is the more common experience when having a dialogue, now and then, disagreement can also result, which is also a good thing. It’s worth remembering that “agreement” has little to do with the beauty of dialogue.

I had used “Genuine Dialogue” throughout my relationships with people, even before I understood its meaning to me and those I communicated with. When I accidentally discovered the label and its importance, I knew at that moment its significance.

As I have often said, Genuine Dialogue levels the playing field with whomever it takes place. It is the way for those in power to share their power by effectively communicating even when they disagree, which is of considerable importance.

I have this experience taking place now with someone I consider family. He was a child when he came to me in the fifties, and we remain family to this day. Also, I am proud of his achievements over the years. In any case, we hold different views. As I have made clear, I am a liberal and see the world as being in serious trouble. I also believe that one nation cannot solve the world’s problems. He believes all of this will pass as other problem times have. We disagree but continue caring for each other as family with love.


A Sad State of Affairs

for some 35 years seeking understanding so I could help those in power that I worked with. In the process, I learned more about myself relative to this subject. The power issue is poorly and rarely understood, and too often abused. It is a global problem I will feebly attempt to touch upon in this paper. Please comment directly to me at

I sense disaster is heading the world’s way, and I believe it’s not far off. It’s easy to point out that the environment is in bad shape, trade and economics (what can I say that has not been said?), Russia and other rogue nations, population explosion, and rampant disease. One would think this is plenty, but what of the State of our Nation?

I sincerely fear that we are heading for a break-up of our States and nation as it was. What the near future holds does not look good, and those who look to the experts for understanding are left confused and probably helpless.

The work we did in the fifties, sixties to mid-seventies with children would be impossible today. Working with leaders and their staff might find deaf ears to the ideas and philosophy I brought to the table after my “children’s life.” So little is the same as it was.
Technology rules today, and dialogue, particularly, Genuine Dialogue, is almost non-existent. As Tech continues to grow, the future is clear. Technology in the hands of corporations is about power and money, but it’s also a cultural shift. Most of today’s youth join in without knowing anything about what we enjoyed and took for granted. Comments?

The World changes—Humans appear to do this—I don’t think so.


I Need your suggestions

Most of what I write is what comes to me to be written. I would love to have you suggest topics. I may or may not be able to develop a page, but I would do my best to find my thoughts on any recommended stuff. Worth asking. Please email your suggestions to:

Summer is here, so we anticipate taking walks in the construction zone near the former Harrah’s Ranch. At one time, it was one of the most beautiful estates in Reno. The senior Harrah built a castle as the family residence and raised exotic (Kobi Beef) on his many acres. Today it is all being turned into a vast number of expensive homes which will all be large inside but no more than 6 feet apart! There will be little room for gardens and yards for outdoor living, but the purchase includes membership in the Castle with a gym, indoor pool, dining room, meeting, and card-playing rooms, etc. 

In past papers, I’ve described where and how we live, and I believe our facility was once a part of the ranch. In any case, we have interesting walking sites and many parks close by. Also, as the trees and gardens grow, our walks will be that much more enjoyable. 

Our love for the outdoors has not diminished because we are old. Still, it’s painful to realize that being in the forest, mountains, and even travel is not ours to do anymore. Yet, we try to get the most out of our walks. 

There’s a lesson here, and I am sure it has to do with me telling you to do it all before you can’t. Don’t wait for a time down the road. Travel now. Taste the good wines and foods, visit historical sites, enjoy family and friends, read a good book, and hold important dialogue now. There is no time like the present. As a matter of fact, the present is all there is.

This day is yours now—It will be gone in a flash–Enjoy each moment.


Why Dialogue is Important to Me

When I write, I write what I feel and think now; as I’ve written in the past, this is nothing more than my opinion. I can not and do not represent anyone else. And, when I write, I hope for your feedback. It tells me a lot if I hear from you. Whether you agree, disagree, are confused, or do not understand, I’d like to know. I value any communication between us in any form. I also realize that listening to and trying to understand another is rarely easy. In fact, too many do not listen, which makes understanding out of the question.

That is why I often write on the subject of Genuine Dialogue. It goes without saying that I think its lack is the root of many relationship problems. For some leaders, communication is often a mere monologue. Conversely, for some followers, not being present when others attempt to communicate is just as problematic. In these circumstances, little or nothing of value can occur between them. What a loss.

My engagement with dialogue began at an early age. After all, what did I have to say as a kid speaking to myself? As I remember, When I was with my family and conversation failed, I hated the arguing. When that happened, I ran to be with my friends, where plain talk was valued.

I knew early on that I preferred the conversational exchanges with my friends. Home was a different story. There, being the fifth in line, I could only observe. Between then and now, I learned that conversation is the best option compared to the other forms of communication. And Genuine Dialogue takes conversation to the next level.

I speak and you hear–You speak and I understand–We get along fine.


My memory bank is still operational and clear, and I continue to make withdrawals. Most of these memories are positive, and I view some of them as crossroads where choices were made. Some were mine, and some were not. Along the way, many events and people played essential roles in the directions my life took.

A brief example: I took and passed a test in high school to be placed in the Navy V5 program, which meant the possibility of being a fighter pilot and 4 years of college. It turned out that I am red/green colorblind, which kept me out of the program, so I joined the Army. My desire to enter the war dictated my actions, so I quit High School and left for basic training. The rest of the story I’ve told.

All humans are subject to the pull and push of life. Some of us are lucky enough to be born and raised where the environment and our parents allow us opportunities galore to be what we choose to be. I grew up during a full-blown depression, living in tight quarters shared with my family. My siblings and I all looked forward to getting out of school, finding a job, and earning enough money to bring home with some left over to spend on small pleasures. The 2nd World War brought an abrupt end to the depression, and opportunities exploded for most of us born in the U.S. Still, I could have been born in a little village in Ukraine—but that’s life and the luck of the draw.

Now, as I age well into the nineties and continue to withdraw from my memory bank, I conclude that I am, and have been, a very lucky pup. I hope you feel this way about yourself.

Memories of past–Some good and some not so good-so life is lived.


More on Memories

Since it appears my memory papers are interesting to my readers, I’ll continue with them. Often I’m unable to sleep because when my memories flood my consciousness, they are so clear that I learn some things that I was unaware of at the time. These recollections are so vivid that I am there for all intents and purposes.

Today, I’m only present. That is, I spend no time worrying about what was and will be. So, when these nocturnal memories occur, I succumb to them as I rest under the covers in our very comfortable bed. These memories take over entirely, and (I think) they appear clear and defined in ways that would have been impossible during the time the event occurred. I think I know why because in those moments, I simultaneously had my hands, feet, and head in so many things that clarity wasn’t possible.

Furthermore, memories of my family and certain others are etched in my bones. My eighteen years with family were a lifetime and did much to shape who I was and who I became. Yet, other events and key players also played an enormous role in my life.

The one year I spent with the three Japanese prisoners of war. The few hours with the captain of our company on Okinawa. The experience of sharing time and dialogue with my excellent Inner Circle and other staff members at my many programs. These and other events, when present as memories I have while trying to sleep, are as sharp as if they had happened only hours ago. Plainly, my mind and memories continue to work well. At my age, I am thankful for this opportunity to take advantage of this mental and emotional gift,

Haiku: Aging is a fact—-Do not run away from it—-Helpless, in any case.

More Memories…

Yes, I had a Japanese family (short-lived) created by war, and I have my real family. We all have that, and probably multiple other families. Only one is of blood, and we are born into it. No choices are given here. All our other families are created by events we may or may not have control over. My experiences in Okinawa were all events I had little influence over. As I’ve recounted in past papers, they were: The capture of the soldiers, the drive to the compound, my being assigned to create an outdoor warehouse, and being able to select a few prisoners to help build and run it. These were all things that came my way. I was simply a pawn on the chessboard of life.

I love my blood family. They individually and together gave me much of who I am even to this day. Yes, eight of us lived in tight quarters. It was the Army that gave me my own bed. Sharing one bathroom/toilet is no small challenge, but we had no choice, and we made it work. Clothes, of course, were handed down and often shared. We discarded nothing.

My mother was “love” itself, and I feel warmth and love when I think of her. She loved to dance, and every Friday evening, she did that at the Odesa Club gatherings where Russian was spoken. She came to the U.S. at 13 from a small village near Odesa, Ukraine. She had 12 brothers and one sister; she slept on the stove in the kitchen as a child. 

 My father was a cabinet maker who learned his trade in another small village near Odesa, Ukraine. They met in the U.S. before the 1st World War. My father labored for the WPA during the depression. He was a silent and very good man who loved my mother and his children.

I cared for them all and became a street fighter responsible for protecting my family and friends. I was cared for as best they could all do. My Japanese family cared for me, my friends cared for me, and my blood family cared for me. It should come as no surprise that I do my best to care for others.

Aging Because that’s What All of Us Are Doing

It is interesting that many of my readers like my papers on aging and want more. In the Senior Village in which I live, I am one of the oldest. The Village doesn’t offer Senior Care, as the facility is really an apartment complex with many resources. There’s a dining room and bar, indoor swimming pool, exercise room and equipment, movie theater, and meeting and game rooms.

It’s not a resort, but like a resort. Our apartment is about 800 sq. ft. with two bedrooms. One of which we use as our office/computer room. Our living room features a big picture window that looks out on the Sierra Mountains and Mt. Rose Ski area. 

All 135 apartments are serviced by maintenance people who fix what needs to be fixed. Also, our apartment is cleaned once a week. We are fortunate to have excellent management and staff who are always there for us if needed. Everything is under one roof— Two buildings connected by an inviting lobby.

The two bedrooms apartments are the most popular. While the Senior Village (Revel) has a large and growing waiting list, a few studios remain available. It has been open for two and a half years, and we were, with about 25 others, the first to move in. By the way, we checked all the other Senior Villages in Reno and concluded this was and is the best.

Singles (primarily women) are the majority; surprisingly, most are from the east coast. They are in Reno because their adult children and grandchildren live here. Wise move.