A few days ago, some friends were having a house party when a sinkhole suddenly opened under the swimming pool while some of the participants were in the water. Two men got sucked into the hole. One of them got out by himself, but the other one was sucked down the hole 43 feet deep and drowned.
As it turned out, the victim, 32-year-old Klil Kimhi, was a popular guy among his friends, and often posted reflections on social media. He would ask questions such as “Who am I without my title? Who am I without my achievements? Who am I without my job? What would you be if one morning, you woke up and all those titles that define you were taken away from you? Very poignant questions. A student of mine referred them to me and asked my opinion about them.
Indeed, without one’s titles, all that is left is the person. The titles are titles, but they are not the person. Whatever you have inside is who you are. Whatever you make of yourself is what remains when the titles are gone, when you are gone.
If you ask me, a person is measured only by how much he has managed to recognize his own selfishness, or perhaps even moved on to doing good. By “doing good,” I mean the extent to which he worked to bring people closer together, to bring their hearts together, to make them feel connected. In this, everyone is unique, and that contribution remains in the collective pool of humanity when we are gone.
Of all our engagements, this is the only one that leaves a positive impact on the world. Everything else vanishes along with the person. When you bring people together, when you make them feel closer and more united, more responsible for one another, you make the world a better place, and this will be your legacy.
This is why my organization does precisely that: bringing together and uniting people from every background, culture, ethnicity, and faith.
Rescue officers work on the sink hole (Israel Fire and Rescue Service)
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