Independence Carries With It Responsibility

The Fourth of July weekend was coming up, and the nursery school teacher took the opportunity to tell her class about patriotism.

 “We live in a great country,” she said. “One of the things we should be happy about is that, in this country, we are all free.”

 One little boy came walking up to her from the back of the room. He stood with his hands on his hips and said: “I’m not free. I’m four.”

(Join the over 1.2 million subscribers of the Rotarian Magazine and read the Frank Bures article that features some of my philosophy )

 In his well written 1974 book, “Thomas Jefferson – An Intimate History” the Author tells us that, in June of 1776, Jefferson returned to the Virginia Congress, after he had disappeared from public view for four months. He had returned to Monticello to deal with his terrible, incapacitating migraine headache problem (which disappeared after his presidency), his mother’s serious illness and his complicated marital situation. Upon his return, Thomas Jefferson asked John Adams to write the Declaration of Independence. Adams told Jefferson that he, Jefferson, was much more qualified to write that document.

Jefferson agreed and in just a few days submitted a draft of the document which contained three main themes; condemnation of the King of England for his treatment of slaves, a listing of Jefferson’s  relationships with members of his family who were supportive of the King and a rewording of John Locke’s words, “We hold these Truths to Be Self Evident –that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and Property” (Jefferson changed the word Property to Happiness).

Much to Jefferson’s chagrin, the Continental Congress removed the first two themes from the original documents before it was accepted and either on July 2, 1976 or July 4, 1976-there is a controversy as to the actual date, the document was signed. Jefferson moved into virtual oblivion and in fact, it was not until 1784 that he was openly recognized for having written the Declaration of Independence.

What is most interesting to me, is that just as the word Independence had a number of meanings to Jefferson, believed that those in the Colonies needed to be independent of the control by the British and that the people needed to take responsibility for their way of life and relationships in the “New World”. That remains even more so today. If we are to remain a free society we need to be vigilant of the way in which we are governed at this time, as well as how we interact with one another, to assure that we are able to enjoy a happy life.

But Independence carries with it responsibility. That means that when, as individuals, we are no longer able to be independent, we need to be wise enough to give up part of our independence so as to protect that of our families and loved ones.

Far too many individuals who are aging and losing control of their daily functions, are holding on to their independence and by so doing affecting the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of their loved ones and causing them  anxiety and anguish as they see those they love struggling with life.

If, as you age, you can see that you cannot remain independent, speak up and seek help from all of those with whom you interact. And if you see a loved one struggling with independence, speak up and provide them the help they need to maintain their mental independence while dealing with their physical needs.

In closing, let me lament that fact that until the early 1960’s Independence Day was a day for family and friends to celebrate, have barbeques at home or in public parks and in the evening watch fireworks; much of that has changed. Today’s youth miss much of the meaning of what Independence Day is all about.

 Bernie Otis is a well known Writer, Author, Speaker and Community Leader. His Best Selling Book: “How to Prepare for Old Age” “Without Taking the Fun Out of Life” can be found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Read his Blogs at http://seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 If you would like to have Bernie’s advice and help in finding the right facility for your needs contact him at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com. 818-519-8347. There is no cost involved.

 Bernie also recently wrote the History of the Restaurant Industry in the San Fernando Valley, for the Los Angeles Library Commission

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The Role of a Father in our Lives

 Four men are in the hospital waiting room because their wives are having babies. A nurse goes up to the first guy and says, “Congratulations! You’re the father of twins.”

“That’s odd,” answers the man. “I work for the Minnesota Twins!”

A nurse says to the second guy, “Congratulations! You’re the father of triplets!”

“That’s weird,” answers the second man. “I work for the 3M company!”

A nurse tells the third man, “Congratulations! You’re the father of quadruplets!”

“That’s strange,” he answers. “I work for the Four Seasons hotel!”

The last man is groaning and banging his head against the wall. “What’s wrong?” the others ask.

“I work for 7 Up!”

In a few short days we will be paying tribute to the father’s in our lives. Having had a most wonderful father myself – one whose qualities I could not even come close to emulating, it is important to stop for a moment and look at how our lives are affected by the man of the house.

Fathers have no formal training, they learn as they are doing. They play a major role in financially sustaining the family, act as advisors and consultants to the children of the family and have the task of making certain that our mothers are supported in their efforts to give us a good life.

Fathers also have one other difficult job, one which often places great pressure on them and that is to make certain that, while teaching us right from wrong and advising us how to live a good life and enjoy success, that they not give into their weaknesses and act in a way which is in conflict with what they are teaching us.

A father was sitting with his son telling him to always be truthful. The telephone rang and the son answered it.

 He turned to his dad and said, “It is Mr. Adams your insurance man.” The father replied, “Tell him I am not here.”

Dads, work long hours, often travel in their work and also carry the burden of taking care of their aging parents (as well as those of their wife). And sometimes, in order to protect their family, will silently carry burdens that make their own life difficult.

So to all you young folks out there I have this message: love your Dad, forgive his errors in judgment, listen to his advice and teachings while at the same time, use your own instincts in making decisions that affect your life..

When you yourself become a father, you will suddenly realize the meaning of this blog.

 This lesson speaks for itself – It’s not easy being a Dad and all to often, as I myself have learned, by the time you figure it out, it is too late

Have a Happy Fathers Day.


Bernie Otis is a well known Writer, Author, Speaker, as well as a highly respected Food, Beverage and Laundry Consultant, Marketing/Sales Consultant. During his lifetime he has been involved in the Design and supplying of All major Hotels in Las Vegas, Disneyland and major hotels, hospitals and universities nationally and restaurants (he has been involved in the Design of almost all restaurants in Southern California.

 Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging

 Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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Using the Two Tools We Possess for Good

A young man saw an elderly couple sitting down to lunch at McDonald’s. He noticed that they had ordered one meal, and an extra drink cup. As he watched, the gentleman carefully divided the hamburger in half, and then counted out the fries, one for him, one for her, until each had half of them.

Then he poured half of the soft drink into the extra cup and set that in front of his wife. The old man then began to eat, and his wife sat watching, with her hands folded in her lap.

The young man decided to ask if they would allow him to purchase another meal for them so that they didn’t have to split theirs.

The old gentleman said, “Oh no. We’ve been married 50 years, and everything has always been and will always be shared, 50/50.” The young man then asked the wife if she was going to eat, and she replied, “Not yet. It’s his turn with the teeth.”

When we enter the world on the day of our birth, we bring with us many tools to help us take the journey of life. Two of  these tools, if used properly, play an important role in determining whether how the trip will go. No matter our age when the end comes, when we are asked “how was it?”, we should be able to answer, in the words of Moses, “Ki Tov—It was good.” These Two important tools are our ability to speak and listen.

Every day, we communicate with family, friends, and strangers. The words we choose and the time we take to listen to, as well as hear what was really said to us, play a key role in whether our communications with other people will affect our relationships.

Whether we are speaking to others about personal, business or other issues, it is important to choose words that convey our thoughts in a manner which will hopefully not be negatively interpreted.

In one of the most informative books I have ever read, Words Can Change Your Brain by Andrew Newberg M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman, the Authors write, Although we are born with the gift of language, research shows that we are surprisingly unskilled when it comes to communicating with others. We often choose our words without thoughts oblivious of the emotional effect they can have on others. We talk more than we need to. We listen poorly without realizing it, and we often fail to pay attention to the subtle meanings conveyed by facial expressions, body gestures and the tone and cadence of our voice-elements of communication that are often more important than the words we actually use”.

 Think about how many times in your own communications with others have you been forced to say, “You misunderstood what I meant to say.”

One of the reasons I have enjoyed successes in my career, is because I have learned the art of listening to answers my clients gave me to my questions, waiting 30 seconds in silence as I analyzed their responses, and then paraphrasing their comments by asking them, “in other words what I hear you saying is—.” In almost every case they were surprised that I had heard what they were really thinking, that in fact I had been able to get behind their words and discover the real issue.

Take the time to think about what impact your words have on others, as well what message your manner of speaking and facial expressions may send. And by all means speak slowly, look at the person you are speaking to, and don’t be in a hurry to respond to the other persons comments until you are certain you know what they are really saying to you.

Finally, let me suggest that the three words you should never use under any circumstances are, “How are you?” When I am asked that question, I respond as follows: “I am great, but I will get over it.” It is not only a wasted question, but the answer you get could very well throw cold water on the purpose of the conversation.

 

Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging

 Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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A Tribute to the Moms of the World

The newlywed wife said to her husband when he returned from work, “I have great news for you. Pretty soon, we’re going to be three in this house instead of two.” Her husband ran to her with a smile on his face and delight in his eyes. He was glowing of happiness and kissing his wife when she said, “I’m glad that you feel this way since tomorrow morning, my mother moves in with us.”

Today’s blog is a tribute to all of the mothers of the world who, each day, deal with the challenges of raising families and adjusting to the changing needs of those they love. We never spend enough time letting the world know how much we owe to these remarkable women.

I first became aware of the incredibly difficult task a mother plays in our lives in the late 1930’s when America began to prepare for WWII. While my father’s role in an essential industry kept him out of the military, most of the men in our family and all others as well, were being drafted. This left big voids in the care of families as well as in the labor market-roles that had to be filled by mothers and grandmothers.

I watched as my mother go off to work ,leaving early each morning after getting us off to school, returning at dinner time and helping grandma get us ready for dinner, then helping us with our homework and getting us ready for bed.

In addition, Mom had to take work breaks to get us to doctor’s appointments when we were ill, or in need of various vaccinations shots and to deal with other child-raising necessities.

In today’s world, while dad does help with many of those chores, it is mom who not only has to work to help pay the high cost of living, education and healthcare, but also deal with the growth of one parent families; the burden she carries is increasingly difficult.

And, in addition to all of this, our moms are faced with the increasingly difficult task of caring for their aging parents. Also, our grandmothers (as well as grandfathers), if they are lucky enough to be in reasonably in good health, as is more often the case than not as we live longer, have the task of taking care of their mates who are dealing with memory or other physical and mental disabilities.

So all of us, including the mates of these wonderful women who carry such a large burden, need to Shout a big Thank You and find other ways to demonstrate appreciation for  the efforts they make to insuring that we have a good life.

 And finally, make an effort to forgive our moms if they don’t always see the world as we do-after all, you may be mom some day.

“The mother –child relationship is paradoxical and, in a sense tragic. It requires the most intense love on the mother’s side, yet this very love must help the child grow away from the mother and become fully independent”

                            – Erich Fromm

 Bernie Otis is a well known Writer, Author, Speaker, as well as a highly respected Food, Beverage and Laundry Consultant, Marketing/Sales Consultant. During his lifetime he has been involved in the Design and supplying of All major Hotels in Las Vegas, Disneyland and major hotels, hospitals and universities nationally and restaurants (he has been involved in the Design of almost all restaurants in Southern California.

 Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://www.seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging

 Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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Aging and the Growing Crisis Families Face

A young boy had just gotten his driving permit. He asked his father, who was a minister, if they could discuss the use of the car. His father took him to his study and said to him, “I’ll make a deal with you. You bring your grades up, study your Bible a little and get your hair cut and we’ll talk about it.”

After about a month the boy came back and again asked his father if they could discuss use of the car. They again went to the father’s study where his father said, “Son, I’ve been real proud of you. You have brought your grades up, you’ve studied your Bible diligently, but you didn’t get your hair cut!”

The young man waited a moment and replied, “You know Dad, I’ve been thinking about that. You know, Samson had long hair, Moses had long hair, Noah had long hair, and even Jesus had long hair….” To which his father replied, “Yes, and they WALKED every where they went!”

While it is not always possible to be prepared for every detour we come to while traveling the journey of life, there is one such situation that every family needs to understand and plan for — that is the issue of preparing for the inevitability of when we and/or our loved ones can no longer live on our own.

As a result of advances made in healthcare, we are living longer. While this does have its advantages, it also comes with the high price of the increasing cost of healthcare. As we age, the growing cost of what I refer to as, the Closets for Old Toys i.e. assisted living and senior living facilities, and nursing homes advances as well.

Let me share with you, my readers, some of the issues that arise when a family member can no longer live independently and are, for physical/mental reasons, faced with the decision of moving into a facility (or live at home with a caregiver, which raises other issues).

Time does not permit me to list all of the financial concerns that arise in choosing the move into such a facility, but the following are other issues which are very important to think about in making such a decision:

  1. Be prepared to recognize the food served will be institutional and not like home cooked meals.
  2. Living in a senior facility can be very lonely and it is important that family and friends visit their loved ones often.
  3. Daily routines can become boring, so be certain the facility you choose has many diverse activities.
  4. Not all facilities have medical doctors and/or nurses on staff.
  5. In choosing a facility, be sure that they provide transportation to medical appointments and shopping trips.
  6. If you have religious needs, verify that there are services of your faith at the facility.
  7. Have a clear understanding of what extra charges you will be responsible for.

Be prepared to understand that living in such facilities involves being in close association with a multitude of diverse personalities and it takes several months to adjust to this type of variety.

Most of all, if you and your loved ones enter a facility with a positive attitude and are mentally prepared to adjust your life to meet your aging needs, you will have a most comfortable experience.

Finally, and most important of all, do not wait until the last minute to prepare not only emotionally, but financially for addressing the inevitable need. No matter how much money one has, when a serious aging need arises, as so many have sadly discovered, you could not have enough.

Bernie Otis is a well known Writer, Author, Speaker, as well as a highly respected Food, Beverage and Laundry Consultant, Marketing/Sales Consultant. During his lifetime he has been involved in the Design and supplying of All major Hotels in Las Vegas, Disneyland and major hotels, hospitals and universities nationally and restaurants (he has been involved in the Design of almost all restaurants in Southern California. 

Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://www.seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging

Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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Forgiveness

Bob was in trouble. He forgot his wedding anniversary. His wife was really angry. She told him “Tomorrow morning, I expect to find a gift in the driveway that goes from 0 to 200 in 6 seconds AND IT BETTER BE THERE!”

 The next morning he got up early and left for work. When his wife woke up, she looked out the window and sure enough there was a box gift-wrapped in the middle of the driveway. Confused, the wife put on her robe and ran out to the driveway, brought the box back in the house. She opened it and found a brand new bathroom scale.

 Bob has been missing since Friday.

 

As we approach Easter and Passover, a time for reflection on life and our relationships with family and friends, we need to take a few moments away from our heavy daily activities and ask ourselves, “Who am I? What is the quality of my relationships with others?”, and above all else “What conflicts are there in my life and what do I have to do to resolve them?”

All of us, including myself, have at one time or another done things that have caused us inner pain and strained relationships with those we love and interact with. We cannot read the Torah, which is filled with conflicts between our ancestors, or the story of Jesus, whose very death was initiated by a conflict with Judas (I do not normally write about religion, although I study about it on a continual basis), without recognizing the pain that bad interactions between individuals brings to our life.

Over the past year, I have had the privilege of being chosen to serve on the Rotary International Peace Committee and to have had the opportunity to speak to Rotary Clubs and other organizations regarding conflict resolution.

This experience has put me in touch with many wonderful people who have shared with me the pain they personally experience because of life’s conflicts and it has also reinforced my belief that we all need to find ways to seek forgiveness internally for our mistakes, as well as in our interactions with others.

One final thought; learn to take time to look in the mirror and know who you are and whether you love the person you see.

“Forgiveness is like a key that releases someone from the bondage of feelings of guilt. Forgiveness brings emotional freedom to both the offended and to the person who was wronged”

                                 –   Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health

  Have a most joyous Holiday Celebration sharing it with family and friends.

   Bernie Otis is a well known Writer, Author, Speaker, as well as a highly respected Food, Beverage and Laundry Consultant, Marketing/Sales Consultant. During his lifetime he has been involved in the Design and supplying of All major Hotels in Las Vegas, Disneyland and major hotels, hospitals and universities nationally and restaurants (he has been involved in the Design of almost all restaurants in Southern California.

 Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://www.seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging. 

Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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Are you Doing Your Part?

A young man saw an elderly couple sitting down to lunch at McDonald’s. He noticed that they had ordered one meal, and an extra drink cup. As he watched, the gentleman carefully divided the hamburger in half, then counted out the fries, one for him, one for her, until each had half of them.

Then he poured half of the soft drink into the extra cup and set that in front of his wife. The old man then began to eat, and his wife sat watching, with her hands folded in her lap.

The young man decided to ask if they would allow him to purchase another meal for them so that they didn’t have to split theirs.

The old gentleman said, “Oh no. We’ve been married 50 years, and everything has always been and will always be shared, 50/50.” The young man then asked the wife if she was going to eat, and she replied, “Not yet. It’s his turn with the teeth.”

Shortly after starting to write my blogs almost four years ago, I wrote about the importance of finding time each day to help those who are facing serious problems taking the journey of life.

Since that time, millions of more individuals and families have found themselves dealing with economic, health, and significant disability situations which they simply cannot handle without the support of all of us.

Today’s blog reminds my readers of the work that one group, in the forefront of helping others, is performing, in hopes that each of you will join these individuals, and there are many, who find time to help those who have serious needs.

There exists a group of persons, 1.2 million strong, in countries worldwide, who meet each week at a specific time, where they work and live, to strive to make this world safer, healthier and more productive.

Their dedication is to growing personable business and personal relationships that contribute to world peace. Their Motto; Service Above Self sends a message loud and clear: These men and women, who honestly believe they can help those who live in bad health, poverty and fear and who believe they can make a positive difference in lives, are called Rotarians.

The Four Way Test of Rotary tells its story “of the things we think, say or do” loud and clear.   Is it the TRUTH? Is it FAIR to all concerned? Will it build GOOD WILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Will it be BENIFICIAL to all concerned?

I am proud to have had the opportunity in my life to be an active member of Rotary and urge all my readers to find quality time in their lives to participate in this or similar giving organizations. Every person can give you reasons why, ‘I do not have time” but sadly, we spend so much time doing unimportant things that we neglect what should be our most important tasks — reaching out to help others who are so much more in need.

Even individuals who are financially secure often find themselves alone. Look within yourself and find some time to reach out and help others. The personal reward you will receive from doing your part will be overwhelming.

Bernie Otis is a well known Writer, Author, Speaker, as well as a highly respected Food, Beverage and Laundry Consultant, Marketing/Sales Consultant. During his lifetime he has been involved in the Design and supplying of All major Hotels in Las Vegas, Disneyland and major hotels, hospitals and universities nationally and restaurants (he has been involved in the Design of almost all restaurants in Southern California.

Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://www.seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging.

 Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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Loving and Respecting Those Who Are Differently-Abled

(This is the longest Blog I have ever written but it is a message worthy of sharing and I hope you will take the time to read it)

Planning for the birth of a child is a very special time which is done with much care
The parents and other loved ones look forward to it with great joy
And when the child’s first sounds are heard cheers permeate the air
What matters most too all involved is the child’s health not whether it is a girl or boy

And as the child begins its life’s journey and adds to society’s goodness
Each sign of the youngsters maturing is celebrated by its family with great pride
Watching a child grow and develop its unique personality adds to our happiness
But every once in a we sadly discover that our child has another side

It has diverse needs which even modern science cannot always understand
The one we have brought into this world may be afflicted with a lifelong special challenge
Which changes the happiness and joy into a concern for them and those in their command
And creates a life style change for all of the loved ones upon whom the child’s care depends

Caring for a person, yes no matter the impediment-the child is a real person, a member of our society
Who is precious and much loved and the parent/caregiver now more than ever makes certain that they can expect
That those responsible will devote their entire energy to helping them have a life filled with love and dignity
Making certain that no matter how they look or act in public they are treated with respect

So dear friends please open your hearts and minds to this very simple fact
We cannot always be assured that bearing a child will result in a person without needs
But we are all, including those who are “differently-abled”, part of natures yield and remember to always act
With love, respect and admiration for significant needy persons and join their loved ones
Who do such good deeds

 – Bernie Otis

 

Hi dear readers. I hope that you will take time to seriously read today’s blog. It is one which, as you will learn, has deep meaning to me. And in fact, as I was preparing to write it, I happened to read an opinion that William Falk, the Editor-in-chief of The Week Magazine wrote in its current edition:

“Norms of civility are eroding at a galloping pace and are giving way to an unashamed rudeness—a me –first ethos in which people feel they owe nothing to anyone. —–C’mon people: We’re all stuck with each other, and life is a lot easier—and more pleasant—when we grant other folks the right to exist”.

Read on to learn how this applies directly to the feelings of those with significant diversity and their devoted caregivers, when in public areas.

In one of my recent blogs, I mentioned that, as a result of a new program my Rotary Club had started with the Los Angeles School District, I had the privilege to speak to a group of high school seniors about how to plan their education and careers.

As a result of that experience, my life has been more enriched and doors of opportunity have been opened to share my knowledge and life’s experiences with diverse groups. Diverse individuals and their families, need the world community to open their hearts and minds to them and welcome them with open arms, rather than look away as if they do not exist, as they struggle to seek to be an integral part of our daily lives.

Let me explain;

Following my talk at Taft High School in Woodland Hills, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, I was walking down the stairs to return to my car when a lovely young woman noticed that I was walking with difficulty (my right leg is suffering the effects of a botched artery operation some years ago). She offered to help me down the stairs and as we spoke I asked her what she did at the school.

Christina told me she was a single mom of two boys, her youngest son, Johnny who is 18 years old, was a student at Taft HS.  She went on to tell me how she was the parent who helped get the “Find Your Calling Career Club” started (where I had just spoken)  and that she volunteers there on a regular basis to help support her son’s wonderful teachers.

She continued to share with me that Johnny has “diverse needs”, which means he has more significant needs than most students his age. Johnny’s communication is very limited. He cannot use his voice to speak and he cannot write with a pen and paper.  Christina has to find ways for him to communicate his wants and needs. He has seizures and eats through a feeding tube because he chokes easily.

He has had many surgeries and hospitalizations throughout is short life here on earth, however, despite Johnny’s challenges, the gifts he teaches Christina and so many others, far surpass the work that is required of her to care for him. She truly believes she is the “luckiest mom in the world” because every single day that Johnny is in her life, she gets an opportunity to learn compassion, empathy, patience, tolerance and understanding; letting go of her fears and truly living in the moment.

Christina is a nurse and a filmmaker, and had been working in the entertainment industry as a medical consultant for TV shows and films for the past 10 years, but this past year, made a decision that she needed to spend the majority of her professional work fulfilling her life’s purpose, which is creating content through TV and film, sharing profound stories of people who have so much to teach us.

Christina then told me about what was going on in the community of persons with diverse needs similar to Johnny’s and invited me to attend the opening of the new Legacy Center in our community. A center designed to provide physical activities, as well as classes for community-neglected people with health and physical impairments. They also offer special education classes. In addition, the Center was reaching out to seniors in the community who had physical activity requirements.

When I attended that event I was overwhelmed by what I saw and during a meeting with its Director, Jacqueline Bisquera, a woman who works as a marketing professional during the day and spends her off time as the center’s Director and Advocate for those I have herein described.

Jacqueline also told me, with tears in her eyes, how she was further motivated by the recent loss of her young daughter who had been challenged with Rett Syndrome.

I was moved by something else that Jacqueline said, “This is for the community to embrace all individuals. There are no special needs, no mental, physical or cognitively impaired,  no old or disabled – there are only people with diverse needs, all with challenges that can be lessened and strengths that can be grown.”

What these individuals need is to feel part of the community and feel respected for who they are and what they do. How basic is this thing called respect? Yet our society moves further and further away from this simple idea and in doing so, further and further away from the thing that binds us together—-The human connection.”

My dear friends, even at my age, and although I thought I had learned everything I needed to know about life and the challenges it presents, until I met these two remarkable women, listened to their stories and saw with my own eyes how their lives have been effected by their 24 hour, seven-day-a-week dedication to bringing joy to their loved ones, I did not understand how important a role each of us has in giving them our support.

I ask you dear friends for two favors;

1: When you encounter these wonderful persons put your arms around them, put your arms around them emotionally and include them as part of, not separate form our community.

2: Find time to visit centers like the Legacy Center in Woodland Hills, California and see for yourself the wonderful work, devotion and dedication the parent’s families and the staff are providing to communities, to ensure all members of our society are respected and valued equally. You may even find an interest to be part of it.

Bernie Otis

 

Bernie Otis is a well known Writer, Author, Speaker, as well as a highly respected Food, Beverage and Laundry Consultant, Marketing/Sales Consultant. During his lifetime he has been involved in the Design and supplying of All major Hotels in Las Vegas, Disneyland and major hotels, hospitals and universities nationally and restaurants (he has been involved in the Design of almost all restaurants in Southern California.

 Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://www.seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 

Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging

 

Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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Fill Your Life With Love

As we approach Valentine’s day, I want to share a blog which I ran several years ago and which is so appropriate to this love-filled day. The message was sent to me by my friend and ardent blog reader, Joan Vieweger, a principal of Choclatique, who along with her food genius partner, Ed Engoron, run one of, if not the, world’s greatest creators of specialty chocolates.

While we do not know who wrote it, it certainly is a powerful message and does not need any commentary from me to send its message.

Another year has passed
And we’re all a little older.
Last summer felt hotter
And winter seems much colder.

There was a time not long ago
When life was quite a blast.
Now I fully understand
About ‘Living in the Past’.

We used to go to weddings,
Football games and lunches.
Now we go to funeral homes
And after-funeral brunches.

We used to have hangovers,
From parties that were gay.
Now we suffer body aches
And whine the night away.

We used to go out dining,
And couldn’t get our fill.
Now we ask for doggie bags,
Come home and take a pill.

We used to often travel
To places near and far.
Now we get sore asses
From riding in the car.

We used to go to nightclubs
And drink a little booze.
Now we stay home at night
And watch the evening news.

That, my friend is how life is,
And now my tale is told.
So, enjoy each day and live it up
Before you’re too damned old!

See Choclatique @ www.choclatique.com/

Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://www.seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on senior living facilities and other issues related to aging, and will be staring to teach a class about how to enjoy life’s journey, at the new Calabasas Senior Center on Wednesday, February 2017.

Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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Preparing for the Challenges of the New Year

Today’s blog begins with a story I was told by one of my new friends, Samuel Osborne, a well known author, writer, humorist, podcast producer and speaker who, along with his wife, has just moved to California from Melbourne, Australia.

A man was taking his morning run on a pathway along side of a mountain, when he tripped and fell over the mountain side.

He was able to grab unto the side of the mountain and keep from dropping hundreds of feet to a certain death.

 Holding on for dear life, he looked up and hollered out, “Is there someone up there who can help me?” There was no response.

 Again he hollered out, this time louder, “Please is there someone up there who can help me?” Still, there was no answer.

 Trying once again he screamed, “Please, can someone up there help me?

A loud voice boomed out, “This is God. Do what I tell you and I will save you! Let go of the mountain side and I will catch and hold you.”

 There were a few seconds of silence and the man screamed out, “Is there someone else up there who can help me?

This past year has seen our country go through some challenging social and economic times but we must not forget that we have also had great accomplishments as well. Yes life is filled with happiness and joy-pain and suffering, but we must always remain optimistic.

As we begin the year 2017 let us dedicate ourselves to achieving the following important goals:

  1. Working diligently to strengthen our family and social relationships so that as we travel the journey of life, it will be filled with love and joy.
  2. Keeping our eyes and minds open to the wonderful opportunities that exist for persons of all ages, so that the journey ends happily.
  3. Teaching the young members of our families the true value of life and how to plan and live it in a way that will optimize their success along the way.
  4. Reaching out to our neighbors, of whatever creed, color, religious affiliation or economic status, in such a way as to demonstrate our love, compassion and concern for their welfare.
  5. Being ever vigilant to the dangers we face as a country from both inside and outside our borders by those who seek to both to divide us and enslave us.
  6. Making certain, that no matter what our age, that we are prepared mentally and financially for the unexpected that may come our way.

Let me close this message by sharing a personal story with you. I have a grandson who is in his late 20’s. He worked many long and difficult hours in order to obtain graduation from a major American university. Following graduation, he found a job with a large automobile dealership near where he went to college. After serving his apprenticeship, he earned several promotions leading to an executive position within the firm.

Several months ago he fell in love with a beautiful young woman and they became engaged – a real dream story so far wouldn’t you agree? And then – while out playing soccer with a group of friends it happened – he was engaged in a game, fell to the ground, was kicked as he fell, and was badly injured. This young lad broke multiple bones in both legs and ankles, has been in terrible pain for weeks and had to wait almost a month before the swelling in his legs went down enough so that doctors could operate and repair the damages.

A few hours ago, as I was writing this blog, I was finally able to speak with him. He told me that he has a 6-8 month recuperation period and is now able to walk on crutches. He told me that if it had not been for his parents, who live many miles from him and his bride to be, he could not have survived the ordeal.

In all of my writings and speeches, I emphasize the importance of being prepared for what life’s journey has in store for us, whether it be early or late death, or debilitating injuries.

Hopefully, my readers, you will stop, catch your breath and ask yourself, “Am I ready for the happiness and joy – pain and suffering, that lurks along the highway of life?”

Bernie Otis is a well-known writer, author and speaker, as well as a highly respected food, beverage, laundry and marketing/sales consultant. During his lifetime, he has been involved in the design and supply of all major hotels in Las Vegas and Disneyland as well as major hotels, hospitals and universities nationally and restaurants locally (he has been involved in the design of most major restaurants in Southern California.

 Bernie’s 2 Books; “How to Prepare for Old Age—Without Taking the Fun out of Life” and “Revenue Generation Through the Sale of Kumquats——And Other Things” are Best Sellers on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. His weekly blogs can be read at http://www.seniormomentswithbernardotis.com/

 Bernie also is an advisor to families needing information on Senior Living Facilities and other issues related to Aging

 

Bernie can be reached at Seymour.Otis@gmail.com–818-519-8347

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