Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.

Decades ago, I wrote a treatment for a film that felt very much like a Twilight Zone. In that story, a plantation owner awakens to discover that reality has shifted 180º and that the comfortable bed that they fell asleep in the night before is now some sparse straw in the barn and they are awakened by a whip striking them, and people screaming at them for not being up and working.

It was the whole black/white reversal. As I shared the idea with some trusted colleagues, I received the predictable lectures about how this is too controversial and will not get an audience that warrants the budget… and that it will only amplify the controversy rather than shedding an insight for those who are so plainly tone deaf.

In searching for a quote to serve for Juneteenth, I found this one by Lincoln that reflected exactly what I had been thinking… It is easy to be tone deaf if you have absolutely zero concept of what that experience were truly like.

In social media and the news you hear blacks and whites speaking about how the whole historical significance of slavery is overplayed and needs to be forgotten. They say the same thing about the holocaust.

History is recorded by the victors and is not always accurate, but the truth about the horrors of slavery could not be more real, nor more poignant. 

And so it has always crossed my mind that if life were truly equitable, then those who are so actively and ignorantly downplaying the horrors of events from the past, should have their Twilight Zone moment of waking up to the harsh reality of what they are so flippantly dismissing as irrelevant. If they could wake up to the sting of a whip repeatedly striking them and their master screaming at them, while they are at the same time, harboring the horrible fear of what has happened or may happen to their family members, then perhaps when they are released from a couple days of this Twilight Zone, they may instead find compassion in their hearts and see a common understanding that they were so clearly lacking prior to living it for themselves.

Apparently Lincoln was way ahead of me on this thought. As visionary as he was, he did not invent the Twilight Zone, even if the concept was floating through his mind. It took Rod Serling to do that more than 100 years later. 

I was pleased to see Biden sign the bill to make this a national holiday. Only with continued dialogue can we hope to educate future generations as to the absolute evil of slavery and in the course, hopefully prevent it from continuing. 

For those who spurn this holiday and see the whole thing as irrelevant to contemporary times… I hope that life delivers them to an alternate reality in which they are given a chance to experience the horror first person. As extreme as that is, it may be the only option that will stifle some of the needless continuous hatred that is fueling the division in our nation and may thereby enable us to find new common ground that is not instantly divided by an unwillingness to release prejudices that hang on generation after generation.

Happy Juneteenth.

If you like what you are reading in the blog, you will even love the book more. Take a free preview below and watch the Sizzle Reel. It will give you a sense of how this book might be of help in your life when you are looking to make some tough decisions.

Changing the world…One thought at a time.

This book is written for you. Whether you are just embarking on your journey in life, or if you are a seasoned veteran, we all have so much more to learn. Lessons from the Mountain is a conversational exploration of countless topics of personal and professional self help.

Mr. Weiner has collected a diverse assortment of thoughts from the great sages of the last two millennia, each sparking personalized discussions, intended to stimulate you into deeper contemplation of the subjects that intrigue you.

Leveraging his experiences in building The Illusion Factory and then, Sizzle, Mr. Weiner reflects on numerous moments of engagement that are relevant to all of us as we navigate our path in life.

In this zen entrepreneurial discussion, the myriad topics range from:

• Narrowing choices to increase opportunity

• Assuaging a hurt ego

• Managing the depression that comes with a failure

• Learning to continuously improve

• Owning your mistakes

• Increasing your likelihood for success

• Making ethical choices

• Pursuing seemingly impossible goals

• Coping with a loss

• Making unpopular decisions

• Communicating with compassion

• Learning to collaborate with others more skilled than you

• Accepting your reality, while working to change it

• Stopping bullies in their tracks

• Letting go of anger

• Deepening self-respect

• Understanding love

• Making the planet a better place

• Taking giant risks and succeeding

• The elusive pursuit of happiness

• The art of honesty and friendship

• Following your heart

• Overcoming PTSD

• Learning when to become impartial

• Questioning reality

• The probability of UFOs

• Attracting positive outcomes

• The benefits of being a zen entrepreneur

and many other interesting topics of exploration.

The book has been written over a couple of years of climbing a mountain in the darkness in order to be atop for the sunrise. Photos from those journeys accompany the beautifully illustrated aphorisms, whose content spark each of the philosophical discussions.

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!