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.
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.
If you watched the first presidential debate I am sure you would agree that this was not very presidential. In fact, I would think that most of us would say it was a rude and unprofessional brawl. Childish name-calling by both candidates and dodging the facts while interrupting the moderator and each other. While former VP Biden maintained some form of courtesy President Trump came out swinging and as many athletes would say “he was all in and fought the battle on the field”.
Trying to actually make heads or tails of the actual information that was shared during the debate, it does not seem as if we learned anything new about either candidate. Nor did anything much in their individual plans and forward courses of action change from what they both have shared previously. However, there are a few items that we are left with still wondering what the truth is. For instance, Biden keeps saying that the millions of dollars paid to his son and the legitimacy of that was debunked. I do not see where it was debunked at all. In fact, to me, it actually seems that his son was paid by foreign interests specifically to win the political support of Joe Biden. I would love to see a hearing on that before the election, I believe that most American’s would have liked to have seen the actual evidence and see why he was paid with no previous experience at all.
That being said it seems as if no one really believes that politicians in the US are examples of the most ethical and moral people in our society anymore but the most devious who are supported by special interests, not what is best for the US at all. But what is best for those that support them. As many would say, just follow the money and you will see who these politicians are actually working for.
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.
Earth’s nearest planetary neighbor, suddenly looks more intriguing as a potential source of life. An international team of astronomers announced that it had remotely detected the presence of phosphine, a potential chemical “biosignature” in Venus’s atmosphere — very possibly generated by living organisms.
To confirm this the next obvious step is sending a new probe to take a closer look, something NASA and Russia will both be doing. The U.S. space agency was already considering going forward with two new Venus missions, either or both could potentially be modified to look for phosphine or attempt a more direct detection of alien lifeforms.