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Some of the Best People-TBG Update 12/02

It feels like some of the best people leave this world way too young.  Motti Kest was definitely one of the best people – a true mensch, a kind, smart, good human being, enthusiastic, driven, and such a zest for life. It’s an understatement to say that he left this world way way way too young.

My daughter read a biography this weekend about an extraordinary individual, and on Saturday night she asked me, “Mom, as a young person about to start being an adult, what do I do to become extraordinary?”  I told her that in my mind, people don’t become extraordinary because of what they DO; they become extraordinary because of how they manifest who they ARE.  I think extraordinary people grow into the best version of themselves.  They figure out what makes their souls sing and they do those things. They figure out and then do what it takes for them to feel happy and fulfilled, they’re kind and generous to others, they take responsibility for their actions and they fill their roles in life well. 

On Sunday I got in the car with my husband and two daughters, we went for a long drive to the beach in Oxnard, we played moving songs about faith and a higher power and we all sang together, trying so hard to create a little cocoon of seeming comfort and safety, knowing full well that life is so precious, so fleeting, and so tenuous. Every moment we have here and together is truly a special gift.

I keep thinking about Avigayil Rechnitz, another extraordinary human being who passed away around age 40 about 9 years ago.  Like Motti Kest, Avigail did amazing charity work and she dedicated so much time and talent to the community.  At an event for the organization she started, Ateres Avigayil, she gave a speech not too long before she passed away.  She passionately started her speech with the words, “Busy is a Choice.”  She explained that most of us excuse ourselves for the things we don’t do by calling ourselves “too busy” but in truth we choose our busyness by choosing the things we do to keep busy. Calling ourselves busy, she explained, is not taking ownership and responsibility for our choices. Avigayil suggested that we set priorities with intention, and then we choose to focus on fulfilling our priorities on purpose instead of passively calling ourselves too busy to do the things that truly matter.  

The people who leave us young are never forgotten.  Somehow they’re the best, most special, most memorable of all of us and they continue to inspire and to teach us lessons long after they’re gone.  Life is precious.  We all matter.  Our city is not the same without Motti Kest and he will be sorely missed by everyone.


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