“By Accepting a Reward From Criminals, One Becomes an Accomplice to the Criminals.” – Iosif Andriasov
My father, Iosif Andriasov, was an incredible person. All throughout his journey, Iosif helped people from all walks of life: his family, janitors, musicians, politicians, the homeless and so many more. No matter where they came from, my father strove to bring the message of dignity with love, being honorable and kind, teaching people to be strong with, a term he coined, “Spiritual Qualities.” This was not a religious epiphany, but an everyday attention to detail and the constant work on himself.
Everything, like my father would say, has to be in harmony. If someone, as an example, is 9 out of 10 in skating, but shoots the puck 6 out of 10, then that player is in disharmony and should work extra hard to bring their shooting to a higher level. Same is the case of caring for someone. If a person is attentive only for a short period of time, then all the work done is for naught in the end, because along the way, the person will eventually show their true colors of being a selfish human being. It is super important to constantly work on one self, no matter how high a level you have achieved. This is a never ending game and once you feel it is done, you will lose every time.
My father gave so many wonderful ideas to help people throughout his life and left a legacy that brings the hope for future generations after his passing, which was on November 16th, 2000 in New York City. Although it has always been a horrific journey for me since he passed away, luckily I had, inside of me, the tools and more importantly the need and want to help people along the way. His death did not give me an out to behave horrifically to those around me and the outside world. His death only solidified in me the complete responsibility to continue this tradition no matter the cost and pain inflicted by others. It is my complete understanding that in life you cannot and should not be around people who are completely foreign in trying to help and harbor others. By distancing myself from many people who bring pain to others has made it possible for me to survive and to thrive in helping anyone willing to open their hearts and minds.
“By accepting a reward from criminals, one becomes an accomplice to the criminals.”
This aphorism, which was said by my father during his life in the Soviet Union, while rejecting the prestigious Lenin Prize, is the best way to begin the journey I will take explaining his stance in life. No matter what the punishment that could have come to someone saying such a thing in the 70’s, his inner strength and non-wavering moral stance gave him full right to state such a thing. My father never gave in to the laurels that most do for their own profit in either money or career. He had a moral obligation to be in harmony with his inner self. Iosif would always say that the situations in life tested him if he was true to his moral philosophies. If my father would have failed in any of these moments, then all the work and effort he made would not be in harmony. Eventually, he would have failed to be a true hero, one that did not compromise his beliefs for the sake of goods, power, and all the rest of this life’s useless treasures. By taking anything from someone you believe is a criminal, you betray those who struggled, suffered, and died for the better good of others. You become that monster, no better than the evil you wish to receive your trophies from, who lived a life that was not worth living.