A Story Willy Remembers

When Lenette, Jeff, and I were in Aspen on our Ski trip, so was Willy P. and his family. One evening, they took us to dinner at a popular restaurant. 

A folk singer was entertaining as people were enjoying the fine food. When he finished a song, not one person acknowledged him.  Willy, who was nine or ten at the time, was sitting next to me, and I asked him to watch what I did and see what happened.

When the folk singer finished his next song, I applauded and thanked him. I made sure that the other diners heard this. No one else in the restaurant applauded or said anything to the folk singer.

I applauded again when the singer finished his next song, as did a few others. Then, after his next song, everyone in the restaurant applauded him. 

Then, something exceptional occurred. After I acknowledged the folk singer and others did the same, he sang better, and his guitar playing was much improved.

To quote Willy: “It was one of the best lessons of my life.”

It was wonderful that Willy reminded me of that experience. What was an important lesson for him is also a continuing lesson for all of us.


Life is a walk into we know not where.

An unknown that exists even with exceptional care.

At first, we crawl, and then we walk.

At first we cry and scream, in time we talk.

Even to survive, we need so much.

Just to be held, we need the softest of touch.

In time, we begin to show who and what we are.

Given love and freedom to be, we can go far.

And that is the problem most must face.

The child is not free to make their own case.

They are held hostage by the powers that be.

Babies given regard and respect will be free.

Author: Sy Ogulnick

Sy Ogulnick received a BA from UCLA, Teacher’s Credential from Los Angeles Board of Education and completed phase I (Master’s portion) in a Doctor of Behavioral Science program at California Coast University. Sy leased and operated a summer day camp in LA. He and his wife then purchased virgin wilderness land in Northern CA, where they built and operated a coed summer camp. They moved to Las Vegas, NV, and purchased, built and operated a community children’s program for families staying in a major resort casino in Las Vegas. They have created programs for children nationwide that employed many people and in the process developed successful training programs for personnel. This led Sy to lecture on how to train staff and the creating of community within the workplace. Sy was then invited to speak at professional conferences on how best to hire and train employees, which led to his becoming a consultant in the art of improving relationships in a work environment and eventually to his epiphany that “Leaders are the primary problem and the answer to the personnel issues that arise in the workplace.” Sy has written numerous papers on the subject of interpersonal relationships, leadership and power. He has lectured throughout the United States, has been interviewed by the media and has appeared on many radio and TV talk shows

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