I’ve just returned from leading a wonderful group of Davis Academy 8th graders on a two week Israel Trip. As I reflect on the trip, here are a few life lessons.


Two Hands, One Heart
Two Hands, One Heart
  1. The people you travel with are as important as the places you go.
  2. Appreciation is like salt. It makes everything taste better.
  3. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. (Courtesy of Kendrick Phillips)
  4. The number of people who care for us, take care of us, and both create and sustain experiences that allow us to flourish is far greater than any of us will ever know.
  5. There’s always room in life for another friend.
  6. Sometimes all that’s needed is a little AC.
  7. One measure of our humanity is our ability to spend money anywhere we find ourselves.
  8. There are many reasons why Starbucks flopped in Israel.
  9. New personality type discovered: the bus driver who uses a pressurized air pump to clean kids’ feet before they board the bus after a hike.
  10. There is nothing more difficult than being truly and fully attentive.
  11. There are no taxis in Mitzpe Ramon but there is exactly one car that proudly bears the bumper sticker, “I’m a Mitzpean” (in Hebrew of course).
  12. There are many reasons why Uber hasn’t taken hold in Israel, they’re very different from the reasons in #8.
  13. We know when we’re in the presence of a truly wise person.
  14. In spite of our shared humanity, there’s something uncanny in the Freudian sense about being in a house of worship of a different faith.
  15. Stress both reveals and conceals the artist within.
  16. Some people and places are pretty much the same regardless of the season or time of day, others transform radically.
  17. The presence of a dog in the restaurant kitchen doesn’t automatically disqualify the food from being edible.
  18. We borrow more than we own, we share more than we take.
  19. The family style meal exists in all cultures.
  20. There are infinite ways to prepare chicken, rice, and potatoes.
  21. And many ways to stay hydrated.
  22. Beauty is both a cultural construct and a transcendent absolute.
  23. Sometimes you think you’ve reached the end of the road and then find yourself going even further.
  24. The prayer, “Modeh Ani,” has no better time or place than 4:00am in a Bedouin Tent in the Negev. At least if you’re the one singing.
  25. It’s possible to turn a mountain made out of trash into a park.
  26. Kids and adults may reflect differently, but we share the need to make sense of our life experiences.
  27. Most individual questions are actually universal questions.
  28. When handed a microphone, make careful use.
  29. There is no greater honor or responsibility than to be trusted by others.
  30. Our souvenirs can teach us quite a bit about ourselves.
  31. Exhaustion has its benefits.
  32. No matter what, laughter heals, laughter bonds, and laughter follows.
  33. Let’s all be in ongoing dialogue with the desert.
  34. There can be no understanding without experience.
  35. We evoke one another’s poetry.
  36. It’s good to return home.
36 Life Lessons, Israel 2016

One thought on “36 Life Lessons, Israel 2016

  • June 2, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Some of the most powerful moments happen when remembering (and sharing about) our loved ones who are no longer here on Earth but live within our hearts and memories.

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