Master Interviewer: Before we get started, I just wanted to say what a beautiful home you have here. What a view overlooking Central Park!
Edward Rubinstein: Thanks. I worked a long time in order to get this view. I love it!
MI: That’s a great lead in to my first question: What did you do in order to get to where you are?
ER: Before I answer that, I want all your readers to know that anyone, and I do mean anyone, can do what I did. There’s nothing special about me, except perhaps the fact that I took advantage of what I—and everyone—has. The ability to accomplish whatever we want.
Inside each of us is the ability, dare I say power, to be whomever we want to be, to do whatever we want to do. All we need to do is to recognize this power and use it. Because if we don’t use it, then we will end up living the life of someone else. We’ll be at the beck and call (or should I say mercy) of our parents, friends, etc. Of “society.”
So, to answer your question, what did I do in order to get to where I am, I willed it. I created my own future. Proper thinking about a thing will create the circumstances for it to become a reality. Our thoughts are powerful. In fact, they’re the most powerful force available to us.
MI: You just thought about it, really?
ER: In essence, yes.
MI: OK, well, now that you’ve gotten here, how does it feel? What’s your day like?
ER: Let me tell you, there’ nothing like living the life you create. I get up when I’m done sleeping and have breakfast listening to the traffic as I soak in the tranquility of the Park at the same time. Awesome!
But what I really enjoy is when my children and grandchildren come to visit. I don’t really need a two-bedroom apartment, but I have the second bedroom especially for my grandchildren. In fact, they sometimes leave something behind, and they always want me to keep it for them for when they next visit.
I always take them to some place they haven’t seen, like to a Yankees game (my daughter-in-law feigns hatred for them, but I think secretly she likes them), the Museum of Natural History, the NYC Library, the Hayden Planetarium. Sometimes we just take a stroll through the Park. I love the City so much that when they see it through my eyes, they come to love it as well.
But what’s really special is that every other year I take everyone to some place new. We just came back from the Grand Canyon. My grandkids had a ball. We took a helicopter ride and landed down by the Colorado River. We were literally within a few feet of the river. Then we flew up to the section that’s not touristy, where the Indians still own it. There are no barriers. You can literally walk right off. Now that’s an experience. I think our next stop will be Italy. The beauty of that country can’t be matched anywhere else in the world.
MI: So when you’re not with your family, how do you spend your time?
ER: Well, I do a lot of volunteer work now. Not many people know this, but I was once a pretty good trumpet player when I was younger. I’ve since picked it back up and have joined a program called Bugles Across America.
Every veteran is entitled to have taps played at his or her funeral and to be presented with a flag from the military. Unfortunately, the military doesn’t have enough buglers to accommodate all of the veterans’ funerals that occur. This completely volunteer organization has people all over the country who play taps at veteran’s funerals so that the family doesn’t have to listen to a recording. It’s very moving. There was a live performance at my dad’s funeral, and they’ll be one at my mom’s as well.
MI: It sounds like a great organization.
ER: It is. I also donate money to the Mercury One Foundation. It’s based in Dallas and nearly all of the money donated to it goes to their causes. They helped the town that was destroyed by tornadoes a few years ago. They didn’t exist when Hurricane Katrina hit, but when Sandy hit the East coast, they were there before anyone else. They support disaster relief, veterans, entrepreneurs, and faith-based organizations. They truly do well by doing good.
MI: Well, Edward, it sounds like you’ve done very well for yourself, and that you’re going to continue to do well.