We live many lives

One week after I started this blog I published a post “We live many lives”. Today I decided to copy it here because it is a central post to my understanding of life and pursuit of happiness.

I want to stress that life always requires to make risky choices. When you decide to marry or not to marry it is one of the riskiest choices in your life.

I also want to stress one sentence in the post below:

“a human being is born for happiness but happiness is not
quaranteed, it must be achieved!”
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  • ” Man is born to be happy as a bird is born to fly”.

                                                         V. Korolenko

First of all, what is life?

There are different definitions of it.

Here are some of them:

-sequences of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual

– spiritual existence transcending physical death

– the period from birth to death
– a specific phase of earthly existence. 

It’s easy to see that they have different meaning and some of
them are contradictory.
If life is “the period from birth to death” how can it also be “spiritual existence transcending physical death”?
If life is “a specific phase of earthly existence” it definitely means
that all of us live many lives.
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My memory keeps happy days of childhood in Odessa (Ukraine),
a beautiful port city.
June 22 was my mother’s birthday and has always been a very
joyful  day for my family.
However, on June 22 1941 Germany attacked the USSR and
a terrible war started. My happy first life ended that day.
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I also remember my life in Tashkent (capital of Uzbekistan), It was
so different from my first life. New city, new people, new language.
My father was in the army,  my mother worked in the hospital in
another city and I lived with my grandparents in a tiny room with a clay
floor. There was too little food, we were lacking many necessities
but  my grandparents loved me very much and l loved going to school.
We had wonderful teachers, real professionals who loved their
students..
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Then there was a life in Moscow where I graduated from college, met my
wonderful wife and we started our family.
That life was very difficult too.
We lived in the totalitarian country where people could disappear at any
moment. My wife did not know her father. He was arrested and
executed a month before she was born.  28 years later my mother-in-law
received an official letter that he was innocent.
Three of us lived in a small apartment with three other families.
There was only a big sofa in our room, so my mother-in-law
had to go to sleep to her sister who lived nearby..
My wife was a designer and I worked on my dissertation at that
time and our love, our interesting work, love of our relatives and
friends made us happy.
A year after our marriage our son was born.
He had to sleep in the crib on the wide windowsill as there was no
other place for him in our room.
Our dream was also to have a girl. But first we needed  a better
place for our family,
So we worked very hard for years. Besides working in research I
wrote books. We saved money and realized our dream by buying a  nice
two bedroom apartment. And we were happy to live there with our
two children.(a boy and a girl).
Yes, a human being is born for happiness but happiness is not
quaranteed, it must be achieved!.
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Every person must grow mentally and spiritually. And with the growth new
goals come.
We were happy to live in our new apartment. Both of us were successful in
our careers. We lived in the center of Moscow and had many friends,
But gradually we came to understanding that it was our duty to leave the
USSR, to bring our children into the free world and to experience freedom
of a democratic society.
We made a very risky choice to apply for a permission to emigrate.
Nobody knew if the permission would be granted. We had to resign from
our jobs and to keep our children at home.
We were lucky to get a permission to emigrate after waiting for
five months.  In February of 1975 we left the Soviet Union and then
a new cycle of lives in USA started.
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My painting #13

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Life is full of surprises or robbers, where are you?! (Part 3)

Here is the last third part of the story about surprises in life. It shows clearly where robbers were at that time.
Today they are in many countries. They can be in your country too.

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

My wife and children were waiting for me.

They looked at the parcel in my hands and instruments and it was clear that they wanted to open parcels immediately and to find out what was in it.

However, I suggested that we needed to warm ourselves first. So we had a morning run and a good workout, then we ate hot breakfast. After it we were ready.

It took considerable efforts to open six parcels. Then we saw that there was a mixture of brown and white in all of them.

My wife cautiously took several white crystals and licked them. She said: “It’s sugar”. Next she took out several brown kernels and said: “Buckwheat!” Then she took out many pieces of brown paper and started to cry.

Children and I looked at her with alarm. What was going on? Why was she crying?

A couple of minutes passed. Then my…

View original post 290 more words

A story about my first short story.

There are many aspiring young writers all over the world. I reblog this post for them. Learn, write and never give up!

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

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…

View original post 282 more words

I was proud of America in 1941!

On June 22, 1941 without declaration of war Germany invaded the Soviet Union. At that time I was 7 years old.

In 73 years I wrote about that day and the Great Patriotic War in the post MY MOTHER’S BIRTHDAY.

Odessa was occupied during the war and my mother and I were fortunate to reach Sverdlovsk in the Ural Mountains and to rent a small room there. My mother was a nurse in a military hospital and she was able to come to our room only on Sundays for several hours

All other days I stayed in the room reading everything I could find. Our landlords, two mighty sisters about 65 years old, helped me daily to do the most important thing: to get my food ration.

During winter the situation in the city was especially bad. Food rations were tiny and there was impossible to get berries or mushrooms or fishes in the forests. People were starving and some tried to steal your food on the way from a food distribution center. However, I was safe, as both sisters had heavy sticks in their hands and used them effectively without hesitation.

One day we found out that the city received some food from America. Our rations increased. I still remember that we got containers with hot soup in it. One of my protectors gave me a spoon and said: “Eat it right here! I know how hungry you are!”

The soup was delicious. A woman who worked at the center explained that it was a turtle soup.

Several months later we received a big can with an egg powder (it was part of the monthly ration). It was also from America. On Sunday my mother made an omelette from it. It was incredible beautiful and tasteful. We ate it very slowly enjoying every bite.

I asked my Mom where America was and she showed me on a map. Then I asked: “Mom, why this country that is so far away, helps us?”

My mother answered: “America is a mighty and rich country! Today it helps our country and other countries to fight terrible enemy by providing military equipment, materials and food. We hope very much that soon it will fight Nazis together with us and we’ll win the war together!”

I was proud of America in 1941 and I love it since 1941!1flag

 

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Several extracts from Wikipedia:

“The Lend-Lease policy, formally titled An Act to Further Promote the Defense of the United States, (Pub.L. 77–11, H.R. 1776, 55 Stat. 3034, enacted March 11, 1941)[1] was a program under which the United States supplied Great Britain, Free France, the Republic of China and later the USSR and other Allied nations with materiel between 1941 and August 1945…

Joseph Stalin, during the Tehran Conference in 1943, acknowledged publicly the. importance of American efforts: “Without American production the United Nations [the Allies] could never have won the war.”

On December 11, 1941, the United States Congress declared war upon Germany, in response to that nation’s declaration of war following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and only hours after Germany declared war on the United States.”

 

Rimantas Dichavicius.

Rimantas Dichavicius is a photographer and an artist.

He is a born romantic. It is a romantic touch that helped him to publish an album, glorifying feminine beauty. The album ”Flowers of Flowers” was presented at the International Book Fair in Moscow in 1987.

Rimantas Dichavicius recalls: “There was censorship. This topic has been banned…Adherents of strict morals did not attack me. Just had a surprise – not up to criticism. ”

Foreign experts wondered how such high level of skill emerged in the country where the photos in the genre of “nude” have been banned for 70 years?

Rimantas Dichavicius never thought about that. He just did poetic, upscale photos elusive beauty.

Read about Rimantas Dichavicius and see his photos HERE.

 

A short story about my first article.

In 1958 I started work on my dissertation (it was in the USSR).

At that time my professor was 82 years old.

As I chose to work on problems of using mixtures of natural and man-made fibres for producing fabrics he told me: “I never had anything to do with man-made fibres but I’ll be able to check your work and to help you to write articles.”

I was very lucky to find explanation why in many cases addition of a stronger fiber to a weaker one (such as cotton) resulted in a weaker yarn. Then I developed formulas that allowed to calculate the strength of any yarn from mixtures of different fibres in different proportions. Then I found everything published in the world about experimental results and compared it with results of my calculations.

It was a very pleasant surprise to find that there was close correlation between the theory and real experimental data. The formulas worked.

I happily told my professor about it. He said that I must write an article about everything as soon as possible. He mentioned that the Soviet government wanted to prove to the world that our scientists were the best and that priority of many discoveries (like wireless telegraph) belonged  to Russians.

He added that after he reviews and approves the article he will ask for the meeting of the faculty. I’ll have to make a report and answer questions. After the faculty approves the article it will go to the magazine of all Soviet universities for publishing.

I wrote the article in two days. It took only five printed pages and I considered it very simple and straightforward.

My professor read the article during two hours and wrote down some notes. Then he said: “I did not understand anything. Please rewrite it.”

After I submitted to him the seventh version of the article he said: “Fine! Now everything is clear! I approve your approach to the problem, method of solving it and prove that your formulas ready for use in the industry! Let’s call for the faculty’s meeting.”

Next week I made a report and was ready to answer questions. All of a sudden one member of the faculty said: “There is nothing new here. I read it and much more a month ago in the book published by professor X.” 

I was about to argue that the book and my article were opposites but my old wise professor stopped me and said: “Why don’t we ask professor X  read the article and tell us his opinion during the next faculty meeting?”

In two weeks professor X visited the meeting of our faculty and during an hour criticized my article. He said that the theory was wrong, that all assumptions I made when I created formulas were unacceptable. He also said that he could not understand why there was so close correlation between data of researchers from different countries and results of calculations using my formulas.

All members of the faculty thanked him for taking time to read my article and let them know his opinion. After he left the faculty immediately approved the article.

The article appeared in the magazine in 9 months (after usual censorship). Only three more months passed and our librarian notified me that the article was fully republished  under my name in the West Germany’s magazine for the textile industry.

Later I met researchers from several countries who told me that they were working on the problem but stopped their work after they read my article and independently verified formulas.

There are several conclusions from this story:

1. When you write something or discuss something think about every word and try to make your thoughts understandable to others. Don’t assume anything.

2. When you are doing something in a new field remember that there are no experts in the field. Experts appear when the field is already not new.

3. Old wise people can make fast and very effective decisions.

4. Censorship and bureaucracy are enemies of science.