About thoughts.

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Each thought has its own colour and its own music.

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From summer to spring.

Not too long ago I published the post FROM WINTER TO SUMMER. Several months passed. We had wonderful time in Hollywood, Florida.

Now is time to move from summer to spring, from 84 degrees in Hollywood to 65 degrees in Queens, from palms to blooming magnolias, from our friends here to our family and friends in New York and New Jersey.

It takes only three hours to come from summer to spring and to enjoy wonders of New York City. In a week we can walk in the Central Park, we can go to the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, we can visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Life is wonderful! You don’t need to be a millionaire to enjoy it! Just walk and look around you, smell flowers, soak wonderful views, greet people with smiles, listen to laughter of children, to music in churches, in some buildings on the 5th and Madison Avenues.

Life is wonderful! Enjoy it! Enjoy learning, enjoy work, enjoy meeting friends, walks, workouts, meditation, gaining wisdom!

Think and grow! It is never too late to become a better person, to understand your place in the world, to make your contribution to it!

Quotes about opinions.

Some technological achievements have undesirable results.

For example, TV networks and other social media often manipulate facts and give their own opinions to the public.

Majority of young people today base their opinions not on facts  or knowledge or life experience but on what politicians and social media (who work for politicians) tell them.

That’s why it becomes almost impossible to discuss ideas and to solve common problems. That’s why our society became so divisive.

Please read the quotes below and comment on them. I’ll be happy to reply to your comments.

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Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.

Bernard M. Baruch (1870 – 1965)

Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970)

The opinions that are held with passion are always those for which no good ground exists; indeed the passion is the measure of the holders lack of rational conviction. Opinions in politics and religion are almost always held passionately.

Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970)
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Elbert Hubbard (1856 – 1915)
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Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815 – 1902)
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Opinions founded on prejudice are always sustained with the greatest of violence.

Francis Jeffrey (1773 – 1850)

First steps to happiness.

Everyone wants to be happy. How to do it? In this post I share my thoughts about steps to happiness and give several quotes of famous people.

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

“Man is born for happiness as a bird is born to fly”.

It is a quote from an essay of Vladimir Korolenko. He was a Russian short story writer, journalist, human rights activist and humanitarian.

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt.

I hope that everyone knows who she was.

Now, if you want happiness and a good life what do you need to do?

You need to learn and to learn and to learn. You need to learn what is good and what is bad. You need to learn about your family, about your community, about your country, about the world.

You must learn what is given in schools, you must learn some occupation, you must prepare yourself for work and then to start working. I don’t believe…

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Quotes about youth.

“In youth we learn; in age we understand.”

Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach

“Youth is easily deceived, because it is quick to hope.”

Aristotle

“You can only be young once. But you can always be immature.”

Dave Barry

“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

“There is a fountain of youth: It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring in your life and the lives of people you love.”

Sophia Loren

“The error of youth is to believe that intelligence is a substitute for experience, while the error of age is to believe experience is a substitute for intelligence.”

Ernest Hemingway

” As I approve of a youth that has something of the old man in him, so I am no less pleased with an old man that has something of the youth. He that follows this rule may be old in body, but can never be so in mind.”

Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope as old as your despair. In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber. So long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer and courage, so long are you young. When your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and then only, are you grown old. And then, indeed as the ballad says, you just fade away.”

Douglas MacArthur

Atheist Professor, Einstein and Snopes.com.

There is a well-known story about an atheist professor and a student:

“The university professor challenged his students with this question. Did God create everything that exists? A student bravely replied, “Yes, he did!”

“God created everything? The professor asked.

“Yes sir”, the student replied.

The professor answered, “If God created everything, then God created evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works define who we are then God is evil”. The student became quiet before such an answer. The professor was quite pleased with himself and boasted to the students that he had proven once more that the Christian faith was a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, “Can I ask you a question professor?”

“Of course”, replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, “Professor, does cold exist?”

“What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?” The students snickered at the young man’s question.

The young man replied, “In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence of heat. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-460 degrees F) is the total absence of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to describe how we feel if we have no heat.”

The student continued, “Professor, does darkness exist?”

The professor responded, “Of course it does.”

The student replied, “Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newton’s prism to break white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isn’t this correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when there is no light present.”

Finally the young man asked the professor, “Sir, does evil exist?”

Now uncertain, the professor responded, “Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the daily example of man’s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.”

To this the student replied, “Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith, or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God’s love present in his heart. It’s like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.”

The professor sat down.

The young man’s name — Albert Einstein.”

I liked the story but doubted the very last sentence. So I went to Snopes.com to check on it.

The answer is HERE

Ok, I was right. The student was not Einstein and the story could be not a true story. But it is not the end of it.

In this article Snopes.com gives several more stories on the same topic like the one below:

“Navy SEALs are always taught

1) Keep your priorities in order and
2) Know when to act without hesitation.

A Navy SEAL was attending some college courses between assignments. He had completed missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of the courses had a professor who was an avowed atheist and a member of the ACLU. One day he shocked the class when he came in, looked to the ceiling, and flatly stated, “God, if you are real, then I want you to knock me off this platform. I’ll give you exactly 15 minutes.”

The lecture room fell silent. You could hear a pin drop. Ten minutes went by and the professor proclaimed, “Here I am, God. I’m still waiting.”

It got down to the last couple of minutes when the SEAL got out of his chair, went up to the professor, and cold-cocked him; knocking him off the platform. The professor was out cold. The SEAL went back to his seat and sat there, silently. The other students were shocked and stunned and sat there looking on in silence.

The professor eventually came to, noticeably shaken, looked at the SEAL and asked, “What the hell is the matter with you? Why did you do that?”

The SEAL calmly replied, “God was too busy today protecting America’s soldiers who are protecting your right to say stupid shit and act like an asshole. So He sent me.”

Then the article says: “Faith can’t be proved (or disproved); if such validations were possible, those concepts would stop being matters of faith and start being matters of fact.”

I recommend everybody to read whole article as I gave only excerpts of it. It is very interesting and thoughts provoking. The link is HERE.

Please don’t get me wrong.

I am for human rights.

We are free to choose our believes.

However, I don’t  support the idea that it is good to be stupid and ignorant or the idea that somebody else (professors, politicians, etc.) should think for us.

Every child asks questions: What? Where? How? Why? He receives answers, evaluates them and grows.

If a living organism stops to grow it dies. We must continue to ask questions at every age.

faith

Imagine!

I am in a hotel with my grandson.

He does not speak yet but I am sure that he understands everything.

He does not walk yet but I am sure that he’ll start walking any moment.

Imagine that he crawls to a chair and slowly stands up grabbing it with both hands.

Then he hesitates. He wants to go from the chair but he fears to fall.

At that moment I tell him: “Leave the chair and go to me! I’ll catch you!”.

My grandson looks at me, smiles, makes two small steps and falls in my hands.

We are both very happy! Then I say: “Go back to the chair and grab it!”.

He does not hesitate and makes two steps to the chair. I tell him: “Excellent, you already can walk. I love you! Now go to the mirror!”

He looks at me, then he looks at the mirror. He goes there. It’s very funny to see how he tries to keep balance but he succeeds and stops with one hand on the mirror.

I tell my grandson: “Very good! Now go to the door!”.

Again he looks at me, then at the door. I am smiling. He smiles too and goes to the door.

I tell him: “Good boy, Grandpa loves you! Now go back to me!”

He leaves the door and comes back to me.

He started to walk! Only two of us know it! We are so proud! And we are very, very happy!

Can you see how happy we are?

Just imagine!

HAPPY PUPPY DOG by Andrew Sclafani

HAPPY PUPPY DOG     by Andrew Sclafani

A story about my first short story.

After three very difficult years in US I worked as an accountant in the publishing house Grosset and Dunlap (by that time I graduated in accounting from Queens College). After working many years in the USSR in research and management positions I found my job very easy and dull, but we needed it badly for living.

My old friend recommended me to start writing to make life more interesting. The idea was very tempting.

In the Soviet Union I published three textbooks and many scientific papers but I never wrote a short story. So at the ripe age of 44 I decided to try it. I wrote a story in Russian about our first experience in the high school of overrunning Americans.

I rewrote this story in English for this blog. You can find it HERE.

I am a very humble person (not everybody believes it) but I liked my story very much. Without delay I sent it to the most popular in the world (outside of the USSR) Russian language newspaper Novoe Russkoe Slovo (The New Russian Word).

Less than a week passed and I received a letter from the desk of the editor-in-chief (I don’t want to mention his name) that he read the story and liked it very much. He added that the story will be in the next Monday’s paper.

I was very glad that my start in writing was successful and told several friends that my story will be in the paper soon.

On Monday morning I bought the paper but…the story was not in it. So I called the paper to find out why it was not published. The answer surprised me very much. They told me that the story rejected. They also told me that the person who sent me the letter was not now with the paper and that he was crazy. I was so shocked that I did not even ask how this person was able to get my story and how he knew my address.

It took me about 30 minutes to recover. Then I thought that if a crazy person who for many years was a good writer, journalist and editor liked my story it definitely meant that the story was very good!

From that time I wrote many short stories and articles on different topics and all of them were published.

HAPPY PUPPY DOG by Andrew Sclafani

HAPPY PUPPY DOG                                                                         by Andrew Sclafani

Life is the best motivator!

There are many good motivational blogs in the WordPress blogosphere. They are well written and many of them contain beautiful uplifting photos and wise quotes of famous people.

However, I believe that life is the best motivator.

Let me share with you our experience.

My wife and I came in the USA in 1975 with two children. My wife did not know English at all. I believed that I knew English as in the USSR I translated many scientific papers and was able to communicate with foreigners in English. However, my first days in New York were terrible. I could not understand people and people could not understand me.

What did we do?

I found a job as a cutter in a tie factory. I worked 8 hours daily and spent 4 hours to go to work and back. There were 4-5 hours for sleep. All remaining hours I read books by Irving Shaw, The New York Times and watched news on TV. In six months my English improved drastically. Then I was able to find a better job.

During those six months my wife attended English classes and then she found a job as a clerk.

Our jobs were not interesting for us (my wife was a designer of the textile machinery in the USSR and I was a scientist) and our salaries were very low.

We had to learn new occupations. After work I went to Queens College and in two years got a BS in accounting. Then I got a job as an accountant in a publishing company..

My wife took a course of designing pipes for nuclear power stations. After graduation she found a very good job as a technician.

Our life improved drastically. We were happy to earn enough money for living and have more time for loving our children, for our friends, for enjoying life.

Our happy life did not last long. In three years almost at the same time we lost our jobs.

Then a new difficult and exciting phase of our life started.

Life is the best motivator!

LIFE IS LIKE A PIANO

LIFE IS LIKE A PIANO

First steps to happiness.

“Man is born for happiness as a bird is born to fly”.

It is a quote from an essay of Vladimir Korolenko. He was a Russian short story writer, journalist, human rights activist and humanitarian.

Now, if you want happiness and a good life what do you need to do?

You need to learn and to learn and to learn. You need to learn what is good and what is bad. You need to learn about your family, about your community, about your country, about the world.

You must learn what is given in schools, you must learn some occupation, you must prepare yourself for work and then to start working. I don’t believe that an able person who does not work can have a happy or good life.

Here I want to stress that in my understanding work not necessarily brings money. A mother who cares about her child is working hard. Any person who works hard on improving himself or herself is working. Any person who cares for others or is a volunteer is working. Artists, composers, writers are working but their work is not necessarily appreciated at once or at all.

You must learn to love yourself and to love people. You must learn what is really important to you, what are your weaknesses and your strengths.

Learning is a process that should never stop. Learning yourself is a very important part of it. You need always remember that you are unique, that what is good for others might be not good for you.

It’s very important that you find good knowledgeable people who can help you. They might be parents or other relatives, siblings or friends, teachers, neighbors, community or religious leaders. You can also learn from good books, movies, all means of communication.

I believe that by 22-23 years of age you must get all basics that you need for building good life for yourself and for people you love or for people you will love. 

quotehemingway