2017-06-20

Giving - Just for the Sake of Giving

There comes a time in one’s life where you ask yourself, “Is this it? Is this all I am doing? Is this all I want to do?”

There are people who love their job, I do. I get to deal with technology all day, every day and at all hours of the day. I learn new things - all the time. I solve problems and sometimes I even amaze myself (and others) at what we accomplish and how we actually manage to do what others said could not be done.

I have a blog, which has exceeded more that I ever thought was possible

Blog

I have my name of two different books, I have presented at international conferences. I have done things that again I never thought would happen these past 10 years - but yet they have - and I have enjoyed every moment of it.

But about 6 months ago I came to a realization that as much as I love what I do, as much as I am grateful for my wonderful family and the time that I can spend with them, that I needed something else - something that was not technology, something that was not family, just something else.

I posted a while back - this on Twitter

Approximately six month ago I enrolled in an “Emergency Medical Technicians and Ambulance Drivers” course through Magen David Adom here in Israel. I saw an ad in my local community newsletter that they were looking for additional ambulance drivers to volunteer. I decided to give it a chance

As a side note. A bit about the emergency medicine here in Israel.

Unfortunately I happen to live in a country that is no stranger to terror attacks, bombings, and other kinds of ‘unwanted’ activity that happens almost on a daily basis. My home town - is also no stranger to any and all of the above. A big part of this huge medical ‘enterprise’ relies on volunteers and donations, last year alone an astounding amount of 1,500,000 hours were filled by volunteers, both adults and teenagers alike.

I had no previous medical experience - none was needed - and I embarked on a 6 month long course, investing 10 hours every week - to learn how to help others in their worst times.

During this course we learned many things. 30 people from my local area spent time away from their families, from work, from other activities for 6 months to go through the course. All of them with one thing in common. They wanted to give - to give back to their community.

We learned a lot.

How to open an IV (which was not always successful)

IV

We learned how to interact with the fire department during different trauma incidents.

Fire Dept.

We even leaned how to treat people during a Hazardous materials spill.

Hazardous

And yesterday we graduated.

Graduation1Graduation2

Now before you get any funny ideas..

No - I am not quitting my job.
I am not leaving technology.
I love what I do and I will continue to do so.

I am just adding something else to my weekly/monthly schedule, that is 100% about giving to others.
(Of course there is some self benefit here (indirect) - by deriving personal satisfaction and personal fulfillment from helping others)

I think we need to challenge ourselves on a regular basis - that is the only way we can continue to grow, continue to help others grow, and contribute not only to your employer - not only to those in your immediate family - but to humanity as a whole.

I know that some will say - I have no time, I can’t do this.

To that I would like to say - time is what you make of it. Yes I am guilty as well of sometimes saying that there is not enough time in the day - to do what I want - I always have a backlog - I am too busy. All of that is sometimes true - but only by prioritizing what is important to you can you actually do what you want.

For me - Work is important. Family is important. Helping others is important. There will be times that one will take precedent over the other, that is life. It is up to you decide how to divide your time, allocate your focus and when each part should receive your time. Yes I will sometimes be doing a night shift - and then go directly the next morning to work. I will sometimes take of a day of work - to go an spend 8 hours answering emergency calls, and helping those when they need it the most, and yes I will sometimes be spending an 8 hour shift after work - at the expense of my family time.

So what is my point in this post? I don’t really know - I guess more of a way for me to share what I went through - and why I did it. It feels to me to as the right thing to do - not only for the benefit of those around me - but also for my own inner self.

This journey has helped me - in many ways. Challenging myself, doing something that is completely out of my comfort zone has helped me grow.

If you would like leave a thought, a comment, or share a story of your own - please do so in the comments below.

2017-04-28

3 Things I Learned - Week #17

As you might have noticed, weeks 15 and 16 are missing – life just got in the way – my apologies. Life does go on and so do I (and no – I am not going to post 9 things this week – to make up for it), so here are three thing that I learned this week.

  1. There is a great analogy of the On Pioneers, Settlers and Towns Planners Or Understanding My Personal Brand – from Matt Brender (now Broberg). I came across another great analogy of how your AWS VPC is built the same as a town - AWS VPC Core Concepts in an Analogy and Guide.
  2. An excellent read on - What is DevOps?
  3. As you might (or might not) know an AWS instance can assume a role assigned to it – and access the AWS API - as long as you have 3 things.
    - aws_access_key_id
    - aws_secret_access_key
    - default region
    The first two - are provided by the role - but the third is something you need to provide to the instance.

    Here is how you can extract this information from the API.

Next week in Memorial and Independence day in Israel. Have a great week!!