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I’m always satisfied with going to soup kitchens or homeless shelters. A big one for me is children’s hospitals. I love spending time with kids, rooting for them, making them laugh. Any small act of kindness is just as important as a donation. So volunteer. Go out there and see how you can make a difference and help someone.
Peace is not so much a political mandate as it is a shared state of consciousness that remains elevated and intact only to the degree that those who value it volunteer their existence as living examples of the same. Peace ends with the unraveling of individual hope and the emergence of the will to worship violence as a healer of private and social disease.
Women spend 30 percent more time doing household chores. No surprise. But women also spend more time volunteering in their community. And if you add up all of the hours of non-leisure time, women are working more than men. So I thought that was very interesting, and I was surprised about the voluntarism piece, but when you think about it, it makes sense.
The birth of a true poet is neither an insignificant event nor an easy delivery. Complications generally begin long before the fated soul carries its dubious light into whatever womb has been kind enough to volunteer the intricate machinery of its blood and prayers and muscles for a gestation period much longer than nine months or even nine years.
Many of the principle weapons that the Nazis used during World War II had their first trial in combat in Spain – the Messerschmitt 109 fighter plane for example, the Stuka dive bomber, the 88 millimeter artillery piece, which could be used both for antiaircraft purposes and also shelling on the ground. And American soldiers were the victims of these things in Spain, American volunteers. So this war was really a testing ground for Hitler. And he learned a great deal from it about the strengths and weaknesses of these different weapons.
The 2.4 million bright, brave, incredibly fit and remarkably talented young Americans who have served in our armed forces since we were attacked on 9-11-01 are all volunteers. As General Petraeus put it during a conversation we had in Afghanistan, ‘They all came or stayed, knowing they were going to war.’ For more than a decade, these patriots and their loved ones have made extraordinary sacrifices for this country. They embody the classical definition of heroes: those who put themselves at risk for the benefit of others.
There are lots of grounds for hope in Israeli society. We are seeing Israelis getting fed up with war, looking for solutions. The youngest soldiers are refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories. Some are volunteering for army combat units but are refusing to serve in the Occupied Territories. We have the elite of the Israeli army, the air force pilots, some of them refusing orders which they consider illegal.
Art can mean a lot of things. At the heart of it, art is doing something you really believe in. Like my wife, she volunteers helping underprivileged kids, that’s her art. To me, anything that you do that you truly believe in makes you an artist. It doesn’t necessarily mean being a painter or a film maker. That’s art, but there’s more to it than that. As long as you’re pouring your heart and soul into what you’re doing, that’s the weapon.