I hope that 2022 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 learn that just like with all of the challenges 2021 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.
John: Once again this is John Dowling and I am here with Model Citizen Patricia Polenz. How are you, Patricia?
Patricia: I’m really good John, thank you. How are you?
John: I’m very good. I’m getting ready for the holidays; I just had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I wanted to call you so we could have part two of your interview now that you are well on your way to your new position with Costello Ace hardware. Could you tell us about your job and what you are doing?
Patricia: Sure! I am head of the Real Estate Division and this new division is going to be doing is setting up partnerships with real estate professionals to make them more successful at their jobs. Our goal is to provide services not only to the Real Estate industry but also to the communities where our stores are located.
John: Talk to us about the kind of services that you have. It is kind of exciting because you really cannot get them anywhere else.
Patricia: Yes, that is true. We differentiate ourselves in a couple of different ways. A lot of people may not realize they can call in an order and we will deliver it if you don’t want to pick it up curbside.
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.
Gratitude is one of the most nurturing of human emotions. By sharing moments of appreciation to ourselves and to others we truly benefit from gratitude. Gratitude is derived from the Latin word ‘gratia’, which means gratefulness or thankfulness. In its simplest form, gratitude refers to a state of thankfulness’ or a ‘state of being grateful’.
In motivational psychology, gratitude is the human way of acknowledging the good things in life. Scientists have defined gratitude as a positive emotional response that we perceive in giving or receiving. Some say that gratitude is associated with a “benefit” that was not intentionally sought after. Others say that gratitude is a response to feeling deserved. Many would define gratitude as both as well as a feeling earned because of the good intentions of another person.
Thanking yourself, thanking God, thanking nature, thanking your friends, and even strangers…. Gratitude in any form stimulates our minds and makes us feel happier. Gratitude truly has a healing effect on us. The benefits of gratitude are still not completely known but we do know many of the ways in which gratitude affects us, and it is significantly.
Gratitude in all forms is associated with happiness. Whether we say “thank you’” like someone’s blog post, listen to someone’s podcast, or just tune into a connection with appreciation, gratitude just does it for our “souls”. Yes, our souls. Gratitude inspires a feeling of pure satisfaction and encouragement. Expressions of gratitude help in building and sustaining long term relationships, deal with adversities and bounce back from them with strength and determination.
John: Congratulations Steve on being nominated for Model Citizens Magazine. You are a former County Executive, an attorney and now an author. I understand that you have a new book.
Steve: I do and I’m very excited about it. It’s called, “Solutions to America’s Problems”, with the subtext being; “A Politically Incorrect Conservatives Take on How to Maintain America’s Greatness”.
It’s going to be in the nonfiction section of bookstores and also available on Amazon. You can go to my website stevelevy.Info for more information
John: Tell us more about what this book is about, because you’ve been out of politics for a while now. For those readers who don’t know you were the former County Executive of Suffolk County, as far as I ever knew you did a wonderful job. Can you give me more details about the book, what do you think is going wrong and what do you think is going right, and how do you think we should fix it? Give us your Insight.
Steve: The point of the book was to put something out there that differentiates itself from the typical book that is yelling at the other side and basically restating what the problems are. We know what the problems are.
John: What are the problems?
Steve: I delineate about fifteen or sixteen different chapters dealing with everything from climate change to our electoral process to the Supreme Court, which is very timely. This was written prior to the Ginsberg passing.
John: I think everyone knew she was on her way out. She had such an amazing life.
Steve: Right, right, and now that leaves all kinds of controversies. I also talk about foreign policy and how to deal with the Middle East crisis, which I wrote about prior to these latest peace proposals.
It’s no secret that restaurants are having a hard time. While the first stimulus package helped, and now the street and outside dining has helped keep many of them afloat, it appears that a good number of them are going under and there will be more to follow soon enough.
First off a very large part of society is just outright nervous or afraid to go out at all never mind to “somersault laden COVID-19 restaurants”. I know the few times I have gone out to eat, I always sit outside. When I can not sit outside, I check a few things first before entering. I always make sure that the restaurant is nearly empty. If it is full or has a larger capacity crowd even within COVID-19 limits, I just walk away. That makes me think that others are doing the same.
Life behind the lens is a blessing. I still can not believe where my art and photojournalism has brought me. From New Year’s Eve front and center main stage Times Square NYC to exotic European cities like Paris and Venice. My love for people has always lead me to pay tribute to the human figure especially the female figure. I can remember every instant from every photo, from my entire life. It’s amazing to me how many portraits and people I have met on my creative journey.
John: I’m here with entrepreneurs Robert Yeganeh and his business partner for Destina Way, Fred Levy. Thank you, guys, for talking with me. You have some amazing things happening that our readers want to know about. But first, can you tell us what brought you guys together?
Robert: I’ve known Fred for a number of years, close to 40 years, and for all those years, he has been one of my closest friends. He was one of the first people I met in the shoe business and I’ve been doing business with him ever since.
Fred comes from a background of great shoemaking with a wealth of retail and wholesale experience. About four or five years ago he took a back-seat position in the shoe business, as I did too. I went into real estate and he went into retirement. Now he is playing golf and having lunch and dinners, dating and all that stuff that he didn’t do because he was working very hard for all those years. When I had this idea for Destina Way, I couldn’t think of anybody better than Fred. At first, he rejected me. I called him four times and he said he didn’t want to have anything to do with the shoe business. He said he had packed it in, all his skeletons were in the closet and the door is locked. I insisted that he hear me out because I knew that Destina Way was a good idea. Even though I was also out of the shoe business, I knew there was great potential. After some effort, he finally let me tell him my vision behind Destina Way. His response was that it gave him purpose and reason to get back into the shoe business because it really, although it’s a small group, it helps this group solve a long-time problem, a dilemma, that nobody had a solution for previously.
John: I am talking with Sal Ferro so that we can get his thoughts on the breaking news that we’re getting out of the White House, President Trump and his wife First Lady, Melania Trump, have both contracted the Coronavirus. Sal, what do you think about this news and how do you think it’s going to affect the upcoming election?
Sal: Well first and foremost, I would certainly like to say that I hope the two of them recover fully. We don’t wish any harm on anybody. I think our country should be hoping that are President and his family are safe and get through this.
As far as the election, I think you can look at it in two ways; some people will sympathize with Trump and then you’re going to have a lot of people who will just wish him ill. Unfortunately, you already are seeing this online. It’s just going to further put a divide between the far-left and far-right and the conspiracy theorists and all that other stuff. It’s simply that somebody got COVID. Many people that I know have contracted COVID and they didn’t mean to get it.
John: I’m pretty sure I had it myself earlier this year.
Sal: Right, you didn’t get it on purpose. COVID is a reality and how severe it is up to interpretation. According to scientists, it is a serious issue. Right now our President needs to quarantine and the people who do support Trump will support him even more now and people who hate Trump will continue to hate him.
Sometimes you just have to stop in the middle of an interview and wipe the mosquitos from your leg no matter what you do to the camera and the shot. No longer is it the air-conditioned studio or amazing restaurant as the set for interviews but parks and beaches. Even outside Model Citizens Offices.
In this case our socially distant makeshift studio was completely closed, iconic, Long Island Amusement Park, Adventureland. Yes Model Citizen Kershel Anthony brought his This is my Swag Foundation members to Adventureland for Model Citizens Magazine to produce his TV commercial and promotional photos for his upcoming event there. This socially disetant event will be much different than others.
Kershel Anthony has rented out the giant theater in the parking lot behind the park for a once in a lifetime event. That’s right the entire ginormous parking lot that has the huge dance stage across from the entrance to the park! Kershel and his This is My Swag foundation members are going to socially dance themselves into the future with music, and entertainment, and hundreds of children dancing safely together. Saturday, October 17th from 9 am till noon be prepared for fun!