We all have a different perception of the world that we live in. Some are spiritual, others are secular, but the bottom line is that the world we live in is shaped by our own intentions and goals. I am by nature a proactive person. I love the idea to stay a step ahead of the curve in spite of the risks. I often fail but always get up and learn from my mistakes.
Judo is my school of life. It is based on discipline and constant training to improve one step at the time. Being thrown on the ground is the very basic characteristic of Judo and its learning experience. Wrestling is a similar sport with the same principles. Another sport where constant falls are part of it is Surfing. Surfers have the same approach about life. They must accept the overwhelming power of nature, and unless they do, they can't practice their sport. SURFING THE WAVE is a term that goes well beyond the sport. It's a way of life.
Last September, I spent one morning in Montauk attending a Surfers Healing event where 140 autistic children faced the waves of the Atlantic Ocean with the help of surfers from all over the USA and other countries. The event was amazing and opened my eyes about a lot of things, in particular that the world adapts itself to the need of the people, more than the other way around. During those hours spent on the beach, everything went very smoothly. The families and volunteers created a perfect balance between the needs of the autistic children, nature and their families. We can say that we were all SURFING THE WAVE. None of the traditional society principles was altered but everything was designed and studied to allow the autistic children to enjoy the day on the beach safely, and beyond all, SURF THE WAVES.
I am 45 years old. I started sailing at 7 and competed at an international level. I am also a 4th degree black belt in Judo, but to this day, I never SURFED THE WAVE in the ocean, as I always found it too difficult. But with the right approach and organization, 140 autistic children were able to surpass my personal experience and fears. Their level of comfort allowed the event and project to go on and succeed. The social and business model around it isn't too different from Disney World where it's geared towards forms of non-typical behavior.
Izzy Paskowitz, with the help of people like Mike Sweeney, has created a social and business model that gears towards a special niche audience that allows him to be the ultimate leader in the field. Izzy helps autistic children have a new and improved experience of life. He also allows people like me to enjoy life from a different prospective.
If it wasn't for Dustin Sweeney, an autistic surfer, I would not be partnering with Mike Sweeney in Film Annex Capital Partners and Citadel of New York. I would not be supporting the Digital Literacy of 50,000 Afghan children. I would not be SURFING THE WAVE, and I would not be spending a fantastic day on the beach with my family on a sunny Friday in September.