My husband Ted and I went on a job walk for our construction company at a private residence in an upscale area of Los Angeles, California. The owner Ben just happened to be there that day waiting for an appointment with the designer.
Ben came into the room where I was admiring the spectacular views while Ted was taking measurements. Ben and I had a quiet conversation about the property, his history with it, his plans for it, etc. He had acquired the property more than 25 years ago. It was a Mediterranean style home, he always wanted a modern home so he was remodeling. Ben and I talked for a bit and then he went back downstairs.
A little while later, I went downstairs. Ted had just finished and Ben engaged us in conversation. Ben began sharing with us about his adult children. His children were all equally as wealthy and successful in business as he was. All of them had just sold their belongings and left everything, including their millions, to serve in the Israeli army making a mere $200/mo.
Then it began. Ben asked us, "Do you want to know the SECRETS of the Israeli army?"
We were all ears. Not because we wanted to know Israeli secrets but because we knew he was about to share a chunk of wisdom that we needed to know.
"I can tell you the secret of the Israeli army and why it is the most powerful, yet smallest army of the world. It is because they have made an unchanging covenant to die for one another. It's called FAMILY. They train their people in family and this is how they do it . . . "
I knew that Ben was sharing lasting truths that could change a generation and a culture that has lost a flavor for family.
Ben continued, "The Israeli army will take a group of 30 for training. They will live together, eat together, sleep together, cry together, grieve together, laugh together, and play games together. They build family, community, relationship and covenant. They are committed to seeing one another live, they will sacrifice all they have for another.”
WOW! As if that wasn't enough, he went on.
"I grew up in a peaceful community growing up in Israel. We farmed, we had land and we grew our food. We were about family, friendship and living from peace. Generations lived together and supported one another. We had each other’s back. My parents had my back. Their parents had theirs and so on. Just like I support my children. I believe that is why 20% of Nobel Peace Prize winners are Israeli and that is why we are creative and inventors."
He went on to share about how the Israeli people are in the top of their fields in science and technology and more. It was because of their environments in the home and their priorities.
I later found out that Ben had terminal cancer. Ben was remodeling his home because he wanted to see his home transformed as he always imagined it, and he wanted to see it happen before he died so that his family could enjoy it when he was gone. He was thinking with generations in mind. His actions and his mindset are admirable and attractive to a generation longing for significance.
I learned a lot from Ben that day. The things he said stuck with me. I believe it is because he has lasting secrets to family and community. I believe he carried wisdom and revelation into how we can transform our world and society into a better place and it begins at HOME.
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