Looking Back, Learning from My Father Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 371

It was exactly one year ago today that my father passed away in Israel. As I was lighting the memorial candle on this the first anniversary of my father’s death I was thinking about him today, as usual, and wanted to share a few lessons I learned from him during my lifetime with him.

  1. Dream big. My father arrived in Israel in 1947 following WWII having fought with the Partisans in the Soviet Russia. He always dreamed of Israel and he was determined to make that dream come true.
  2. Hard work pays off. He arrived with strong arms and used his strength and skill to build the country, brick by brick, building by building and watched the country flourish.
  3. Reach out to partner with others. My father was well connected with the Arab community and they worked side by side in business and created deep bonds of friendships. These friends were regular guests in our home and dozens came to pay their respects at my mother’s passing.
  4. Don’t be afraid to try new things. My dad went skiing and skating in the Golan Heights one winter and he was hooked! It was quite a novelty for a desert dweller.
  5. Be creative. My parents insisted that I would have the music lessons that they never received growing up during the war. I learned about music, played guitar and accordion and watched my father create sculptures from clay and wood in the art shed. Later in life he published a book of Hebrew poetry which was set to music.
  6. Be satisfied with your lot in life. Building a home, filling it with family and friends, enjoying the Mediterranean Sea across the street was more than enough to feel accomplished and successful.

As I look back at these lessons, I think about how they have influenced the way I live my life here in America, which was my dream to achieve.

This week take a moment to ponder your greatest influences and how those special people helped to shape the person you have become at work and personally. I look forward to hearing from you!


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