Last night all four kids were home. Since they are grown, it is a rare occurrence with two living in Tel Aviv, one in the army, and only one still living with us.
Let me tell you about my children.
My oldest girl is an aspiring actress. She was told two years ago that “she doesn’t have what it takes.” For awhile, because she is not arrogant, she believed this lie. However, she is now flourishing; receiving the accolades she should have received long ago, she is happy and content.
My oldest boy takes eleventh- and twelfth-graders on trips around Israel to inspire and encourage them in their journey within themselves, their community, their land, and their faith. He also works with special needs children doing therapeutic gardening. He is also attending university and holds down a job. His wife works with Arab and Jewish people teaching them computers and she, also, is attending university.
My youngest girl works as an assistant to a veterinarian and rescues wounded animals. She is also taking a dog training and therapy course in order to help wounded and special needs people, using dogs for therapy with them.
My youngest boy is a medic in the IDF. He told us a story of how he was on guard duty and saw a traffic accident between a Palestinian car and an Israeli one. He immediately ran over to the incident and began to administer aid to whomever needed it.
I have students who are fantastic musicians. They often go to nursing homes to bring some cheer to the residents.
There is the elderly woman, a friend of mine, who has difficulty walking. Nevertheless, she goes once a week to the Erez checkpoint outside Gaza to bring Palestinians for treatment in hospitals. Another friend, recently retired, teaches English to Ethiopian children on a voluntary basis.
A friend’s son, a recent graduate of a prestigious university in America, has chosen to volunteer in Greece, rescuing Syrian refugees. Though he could be making a great deal of money, he is sleeping in a car or on the ground, in order to help those who are suffering.
A dear friend goes often to Bethlehem to find the neediest people, some who are artists, and sells things they make so that they may have some dignity. She does this on a strictly voluntary basis.
I have heard that this is a narcissistic generation, and that it is a generation in which people care only about money. I have heard all these things stated as though they are true. My experience, however, proves that this is not always the case!
I am grateful and fortunate to know many heroes. And if there is any lesson that I have learned, it is that we find what we diligently look for. We find that on which we focus.
“Therefore, brethren, whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report; if there is any virtue and any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
This article originally appeared on First Fruits of Zion, May 15, 2016, and reposted with permission.