I hope that 2021 will bring us all a new beginning. A new beginning where we all appreciate what we have with our society despite its flaws. That we once again we learn that just like with all of the challenges 2020 held for us with Covid, that we are soon going to be through it. Let’s hope that our political leaders will again give it a go at working together for what is best for our country, not what is best for their re-elections.
Let’s hope that while we think of the “one for all and the all for one” mentality, we also recognize that you can not continually take from one family and give to another where class wars start within our society. That whether rich or poor you have to work, and you have to think of the Alpha and the neediest in your flock or you will not survive. Yes, we are all in this together, but we do have our own self to consider just as much as we consider all.
I do not think that any of us want to be living in “The Social States of America”, we have all grown quite accustomed to The United States of America. So let’s not allow fear to overcome our lives. Neither fear of the pandemic, nor fear of the new president and his apparent attempt at unifying the two parties to once again cooperate first and have healthy debating, not all-out “civil wars” with each other. We have learned from math and the movie “A Beautiful Mind” that what is best for the Alpha is not what is best for the group, what is best for the group and the alpha is what makes the most successful outcomes. Let’s look at the universal basic income of some variety as a temporary solution to welfare programs, unemployment, and poverty as a real solution (same as stimulus programs or very similar) but let’s not bankrupt our future generations by going too far into debt. Let’s hope the right and the left realize that we are in the same country and we all depend on each other. That includes our health care and our quality of life. As I have shared throughout the year, how we take care of each other will be how future generations judge our own, not what type of car we drive, or how opulent our chandeliers are.
Model Citizens Magazine the November issue features some incredible model citizens including Natalya Smolyakova and her daughter Alisa only the second mom and daughter to ever be nominated as model citizens together. A great interview with founders and proprietors of B2BESPOKE Men’s Clothier Mark Macaluso and Robert Bartol. Model Citizen & former Suffolk County Executive, author Steve Levy shares his thoughts on the presidential election results.
The November issue is the Gratitude issue and we have some great stories about Gratitude, Paying it Forward, and Cherishing your Chapters or love. Alure home improvements CEO and model citizen Sal Ferro shares his views on how our government is doing during this election year. Rhonda Klch shares her views on some current issues and her passion for the Equity First Foundation.
There are a plethora of additional stories in this issue that we hope you enjoy. Note that any of these spreads and stories can be printed on fine art glossy, matt, satin, or canvas archival/museum-quality prints. Just click here to find out more. As always Live in Gratitude. Pay it Forward. Cherish your Chapters of love.
John: I’m John Dowling and I’m here once again with Model Citizen Sal Ferro the CEO of Allure Home Improvements. Sal, good morning and thank you for talking today.
Sal: Good morning John. It is great to speak to you. We finally got some good weather in November and it’s nice to see.
John: It’s like August weather, thank God.
Sal: It keeps our mind off the other things that are going on, like the election that nobody knows who the winner is.
John: You just don’t know who to believe. A lot of our Model Citizens are voicing different opinions and so I wanted to reach out to you because I know you were really dialed in and you spend a lot of time with many of these people. What do you think is happening because there is a lot of talk about election fraud? Some say Trump won, and other people saying Biden won, what do you think is going on? Can you try to bring some clarity to all this and your opinion?
Sal: I have a tough time believing anything right now. I think the last couple of years have shown us is it is very difficult to believe anything you read or hear because so much comes from social media. However, when you check on it you find that the story is a hoax or fake news. That’s the new thing these days. You hear “fake news” which was never heard that term 15 or 20 years ago, it just never existed.
Do we believe, in rhetoric or in evidence? In a court of law, evidence is required. You can make a claim, but you must also back it up. Example, a person sneaks through an intersection with a red-light camera and they are filmed doing this, but yet that same person goes to court and tells the judge, no they didn’t do it. They yell, they scream, they blame the manufacturer of their car, they blame the car next to them, they blame the clouds in the sky. Then the judge informs said violator that there is a picture of them running the light, so they must pay the fine. But they still deny. They go outside and convince the group on the corner waiting for a bus that there is a grand conspiracy. Is this sensible? No, the camera shows it, but yet we are being told not to believe the evidence that our eyes and even our ears show us.
Likewise, we are hearing tales, tall and false as usual, from the podium of our most treasured house. All kinds of attacks are being launched on the democratic process of vote counting. There is not one shred of proof, no evidence whatsoever that any fraud is happening. Counting votes is NOT fraud. It is not, it is counting votes. Here’s some actual truth; every vote processing place has live stream cameras, as well as a Democrat and a Republican and an Independent poll watcher. They are reviewing the count and they are approving or throwing out questionable ballots. This underappreciated trio is reaching a bi-partisan consensus. This has always, ALWAYS, been the process. Approving ballots, counting votes, and reporting the findings. This is how elections are supposed to work ladies and gentlemen. It is quantative. It is math. Math, like science, doesn’t lie.
I am grateful for my family because I completely can be myself. I feel comfortable around my family. With them, I can do everything. I can sing, I can do something weird and they won’t judge me for anything that much. I always have someone to talk to. I can call my mommy or my son or my sister whenever I miss them.
They love me and always will. In hard times they boost me up, and always support me. They make me laugh. I am so blessed to have such a close family. Each day I am more and more thankful for them and my love for them continues to grow. I am grateful for my friends and their continuous support. They are truly my motivation. We speak daily and they truly inspire me. They’re good listeners, they motivate me, they encourage me, they spur me to challenge myself and continue to grow.
I am grateful for my health because health is the foundation of who I am. I feel healthy and it’s one of life’s blessings. I am thankful first and foremost to be alive, to wake up every day that I can make great. I feel healthy, strong. Thankful that my body allows me to work and exercise, which in turn helps my mind feel healthier and happier so I can be a better mother and caregiver. I am grateful for work because I have had continuity of employment throughout the covid emergencies. I am grateful for my social life and the world around me
Breakups are always a difficult time that forces people to re-evaluate every aspect of themselves, their partners, former partners, and plans for the future. Most breakups are rather contentious and in the case of marriages can be very costly. People simply grow apart. However, maintaining a good relationship is important not only to your current relationships but in many cases to your emotional health as well. How we handle former chapters of love often determines our happiness in the future. To what extent is different our happiness is affected is different from all, but everyone is affected by the way they CHERISH their chapters of love to some degree.
Most people do not even realize that CHERISH is such an important aspect of life that we forget that our promise to “love, honor and cherish” are the three words we utter during our marriage ceremonies. Despite the fact, we are dedicating our love and honor to our betrothed and promising to cherish them we simply often do not even know-how. It seems that generally we know very little about the meaning of CHERISH going into relationships, and rarely practice a level of CHERISH with those from our former relationships.
Perhaps before we utter these words during a marriage ceremony we should receive an instruction guide that clearly explains what love, honor, and cherish mean and how to commit to Cherishing your chapters of love, every day. It is quite obvious that in many, even in most cases, there is ongoing animosity, not compassion, and cherishing going on after divorces, even decades later. Maybe there is something more to this “CHERISH” than we realize in our wedding vows. Maybe cherishing is just as important as loving. To me, I do believe so.
As we grow closer to the end of 2020, it gives us time to reflect on some of the changes we have all personally experienced. For myself, my journey back into real estate investing was a high priority. In light of the pandemic, it became very obvious that the way in which we conduct business would be altered – I just do not know if anyone was expecting what laid ahead. As the managing partner of a consulting firm, I prepared myself for an economic slowdown – however with my vast knowledge of residential real estate investing, I drove my attention to the market where I knew I could survive and still have financial freedom.
If you asked investors in the real estate market if they thought that their business was a victim of the pandemic, many said yes. Full-time investors felt the heat of the pandemic in many ways. From the realtors not having the ability to show homes, courts and foreclosures were placed on hold, limited inventory of houses to sell, many homeowners taking their property off the market in fear of “COVID contamination” and all during a time of record-low mortgage rates – how frustrating. I can admit that I am one such victim. I own several rental properties and with instruction to not evict – I have several properties where I now have tenants that are behind months of rent, however, the mortgage, taxes, and insurance still need to be paid. The rule of 6 months savings was gone in a flash – we are all victims here- it is what you do to climb out and be on top that makes and defines you.
In light of the challenges, a good investor can look at trends and establish a plan of action. Like others in the field, I turned to mentors, gurus, and a solid marketing plan. The real estate game can be tricky and once the markets opened, having no plan is a plan to fail. In the last few months of the pandemic, I have focused on a niche in the residential space. I thank the world of social media marketing for the opportunities that have been created. Like many, turning to a creative platform allowed our business to stay relevant. The social media platform has allowed sellers to reach me even in the pandemic. I am working with families that are high risk and who would rather accept a “cash offer” from my team in lieu of a higher offer but expose their loved ones to COVID contamination. There are many families that will not show their home or allow outsiders in – this has created a unique opportunity for real estate cash buyers to make discounted offers.
It amazes me that this presidential election is so close especially with all of the pre-election polls suggesting it was going to be a landslide for Biden. Just like in 2016 when president Trump was up against Hillary Clinton, the media and even the social media seemed dead set against any chance of a Trump Victory. Was completely the same as this election probably much worse.
Most Democrats are not only happy to know that Trump is soon going to be out, but many “haters” are hopeful that Trump will now be prosecuted and will go to jail “for crimes against humanity” of all sorts. But we have all heard these claims before. As Steve Levy the former county executive and model citizen would say, you don’t have to like him to believe in his agenda.
Whether you like him or not, or agree with his policies or not you have to admit the guy is resilient. I think over 68 million American’s voted for Trump so they must see value in what he is doing and his agenda. However, it certainly seems that more American’s would rather have “grandpa Biden” as the head of our country than a man who seems to be renegotiating every contract and agreement that was anti-American or anti-effective. Who also seems to care about every need that comes to his attention. But again that is on the surface, after the election propaganda who knows what would happen!
To pay it forward means that instead of paying someone back for something they gave you or did for you, you do something for someone else. Maybe you’ll give up your seat on a subway or train for an elderly passenger, or let someone with only a single item at a grocery store go in front of you. On a rainy day, you might hand an umbrella to someone who needs it more than you do. You might buy a homeless person some food or bring them groceries. The possibilities are endless. These are all acts of kindness and ways to pay it forward in today’s world.
In the not so distant past paying it forward had more of a legal meaning. “Pay it forward” as implemented in contract law basically refers to loans with third-party beneficiaries. Specifically, the creditor offers the debtor the option of paying the debt forward by lending it to a third person, instead of paying it back to themselves, the original creditor. This contract may include the provision that the debtor may repay the debt in kind, lending the same amount to a similarly challenged party once they have the means and under the same conditions. Debt and payments can be monetary or given through good deeds. These type of transactions, which often start with a gift instead of a loan, is paying it forward.
Paying it forward works very similarly to living in gratitude. However, they are different. One is an actual act of appreciation, the other is the act of giving to someone who you do not ever expect anything back from. Paying it forward is an act of kindness and as much as you do it for others, you also pay it forward to nurture your own soul. Often with philanthropic people who pay it forward, the “do-gooders or givers” do not ever expect to see anything back for their efforts.
While the media tends to obsess over the presidential election, the control of the Senate will also be a major factor as to the ultimate direction our nation takes over the next several years.
Former vice-president Joe Biden can win the White House, but his ability to undo all of. the Trump agenda will have very little chance of succeeding if a Republican majority is maintained in the upper chamber.
Hanging in the balance are issues related to border security, tax increases, healthcare, Covid, crime, gun ownership, and so much more.
Democrats maintained a 53-47 split before the election.
With a Biden win, the Democrats will need to flip only three seats, since a 50-50 tie can be overcome with the vote of the vice president.
Joe Biden has said he wants to reverse the Trump tax cuts. If he can’t get a majority in the Senate, Trump’s tax policies remain in effect.
But Biden would not need the Senate’s cooperation in reversing a number of Trump initiatives that were executed via executive order
For instance, Trump’s deal with Mexico to require all asylum-seekers to submit their applications on the Mexican side of the border sharply curtailed the catch and release process, thereby dramatically reducing the flow of illegal immigration caravans that were flooding over the border. All it will take is a simple stroke of a pen from a President Biden to reverse that coordinated effort with Mexico.