This was undoubtedly one of the finest summers I’ve ever had. The reasons?
1. A great degree of seeing others with a sense of purpose. Without doubt, seeing others with such purpose has done wonders for me too
2. Experiencing diverse sights, sounds and sensations
3. Enjoying the benefits of my (and my family’s accomplishments)
My wife, two teenaged kids and I, have just returned from a ten day trip to Israel, where we saw people with purposes, experienced diverse sights, sounds and sensations and basked in our accomplishments
We live comfortable lives in North America. Yeah, we think things are hard. The traffic sucks. We work hard. We complain a lot. Our kids complain even more. Nothing is perfect. In reality we don’t fight for a lot. In fact, we fight for very little. Yeah, we understand the differences between victory and defeat – and that’s about it. As pro-Israel and Zionistic as I am, (I don’t want to turn this into a political discussion), the Israelis live with a great sense of purpose. And I love that.
I’m sure they complain. The traffic is bad there too. The weather was uncomfortably hot (between 33 and 40 degrees daily). The cost of living is high – the cost of death even higher. Much higher. And the many Israelis I met, have fought, do fight and will continue to do so, for every inch of land they have. It’s an unrelenting fight and one that will never end. Right or wrong – they live the differences between victory and defeat. They’re never comfortable, no-less complacent in their daily struggles for land – and I like that mentality.
My take home for my (sometimes obnoxious) teenage kids: Never take what you have for granted and ensure that you have a clear purpose for doing what you do – no rolling with the punches, no whistling in the wind, but rather understand what and why you are doing what you do - and then --- go and do it better than anyone else. Simple!
Israel’s a land of great diversity. Given its smallness in size, it truly does have it all. From the very secular to the ultra-orthodox, from the lush hills of Haifa to the searing desert in the Negev and from a street falafel to fine-dining restaurants, the land’s diversity is amazing. We saw sights, heard sounds and experienced sensations that were unique. The market in Jerusalem minutes before Shabbat (the Sabbath). The fresh water springs in Ein Gedi. The Dead Sea. The ancient city of Caesarea. The Western Wall (Kotel). The beaches of Tel Aviv. The beauty of Tiberias. Rifle shooting in the Golan. The Army base. Kayaking on the Jordan River. The awesome (and I truly mean that) people on our tour, including our guide Yahaloma Yigael (aka Diamond) and Benny (our driver). Wow!!!
My take home for my (sometimes obnoxious) teenage kids: Do differently. Embrace diversity. Listen to the opinions of others. Never judge. Do what you do with respect for yourself and love others. Something’s you do on a trip, you’ll love. Others – well not so much --- do it all – anyway! (and to be fair, my kids were great on the trip).
It’s no secret that I work hard and long hours. Always have. Always will. It’s also no secret that I play hard. But working hard and playing hard is meaningless, unless you can sit back from time to time and enjoy your accomplishments – because it’s accomplishments that make you happy (at least, that’s what I believe). And the Sacke family has accomplished a huge amount in an era that’s literally seen the demise of the family. I have my wife. We’re a well-adjusted family unit. We have our health. We love each other. We have an income. We have friends. In other words – far as I’m concerned – we have it all.
My take home for my (sometimes obnoxious) teenage kids: Focus on the big stuff, but never lose sight of the small stuff either. You can’t accomplish the big stuff without first getting the small stuff done. Live life on life’s terms, not yours. No-one owes you anything. Enjoy your successes and do things that create good karma. Pick your battles – some are not worthwhile and rise above.
And in other news, I celebrated 25 happy years in Canada on July 1, 2013 and nineteen years of wedded happiness on August 7 .