On Aging—Because I Am Here

I’ve finished retelling the serendipitous events that led to our finding, buying, and creating Camp Shasta and Heidi’s remarkable feat. Also, I discovered something about me that is both pleasing and surprising. My memories are so vivid and sharp that I clearly see myself, others, and our interactions—all in color! So, I ask why at my age, is this clarity available to me? I search for reasons and think I know why. And, if what I write is helpful to my readers, that’s a good thing.

When growing up, I was told I was a good listener. Apparently, I was fully present when with family and friends. I know this was true when I worked with children and my own staff. Later with adults, professionals, and entrepreneurs, I was a mentor, ultimately teaching about leadership and the power of being powerful and how these can easily become the crux of communication problems between people. As a teacher and leader, I had to be PRESENT! In fact, when with others, there was no other way.

Being present means “being in the moment.” Seeing, hearing, and trying to understand what is said or done. No judgment, NO AGREEMENT. NO PRETENDING BUT BEING THERE AND LISTENING OR WITNESSING. I did this well enough to recall important (and serendipitous) events, even to this day. It is why I now say that being “PRESENT” may be the most essential demand made on a human.

What follows if one is not PRESENT with others as they lead, teach, and supposedly listen? Nothing of significance, to be sure. How is it possible to understand, confirm and relate to another if not present? BACK THEN, I WAS PRESENT FOR THE OTHER. TODAY I AM PRESENT FOR MYSELF. Is it possible I can recall the past so clearly because I was fully engaged in the moment?


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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