(photo credit: MARK NEYMAN / GPO)
I am grateful to have been brought up by a father who was not merely one of Israel’s founding fathers and pioneers, but a giant of a world leader, a visionary defined by a set of values, who envisioned a new age where the forces of science, innovation and technology, combined with moral values, would create a better and safer world – a man who relentlessly pursued peace until his final breath.
At the age of 93, my father, Shimon Peres, forever young in age and mind, knew that his days on this planet were numbered and was determined to share his remarkable story and that of the State of Israel. Born into an ultra-Orthodox family in a shtetl without running water or electricity in freezing-cold Vishnyeva, Poland (today Belarus), he became witness to and indeed led a social, technological, military and moral revolution from the old world to the new world: the future, a world in which nations can become great not at the expense of others; a profound transition from a world defined by territory to a world of innovation and technology that everyone should have access to.
As he approached the end of his life, he felt a tremendous sense of obligation to both the people of Israel and to the entire world to share his story, not as an account of history or in order to settle disputes, but rather to inspire young people and future generations toward a path of optimism, hope, innovative thinking and empowerment.
His story, much of which intertwines with the history of the State of Israel, is a narrative of daring, creativity, risk-taking and thinking outside the box.
My father was a determined man who never rested on his laurels and was always ready for the next challenge. Therefore, he embarked on a journey during his final months to chronicle his entire life’s work and succeeded in completing this journey mere weeks before he passed away. The journey he went on, however, was not a journey to the past, but rather a journey to the future, to a new era.
The product of this journey, No Room for Small Dreams
, is a must-read for every person who does not cease to dream: aspiring leaders, pioneering innovators, budding entrepreneurs, CEOs, students of political science and military operations, world statesmen, young and old, from every background and every nation. The captivating work that serves as my father’s will to the next generations, provides great insight, proving that the most important resource of all is the human mind.
Over the course of the narrative he shares the six most momentous decisions of his life, providing exclusive insight into personal moments and political battles – the moments that shaped his life and laid the foundation for the State of Israel.
He reveals the behind-the-scenes tales of his most significant life decisions: the hand he played in building the young state; his role in establishing Israel’s nuclear deterrent; his efforts to save Israel from economic calamity and transform it into a start-up nation; and his immense efforts in the relentless pursuit of peace. He provides a fascinating narrative not merely of what happened, but why it happened – not in order to retell history, but to learn from it and, ultimately, to travel to the future.
Although my father’s final project is an autobiography, it is not a history book; focusing on the past was not his way. I see the book as an inspirational road map to the future, chiefly directed at the young generation. By utilizing this toolkit that he developed throughout his life, he encourages us all to find the best within ourselves and believe in our ability to shape a better future. When approaching the book, read it with the future in mind.
My father loved the State of Israel with his entire being, dedicating his life to it.
Here he speaks not just to the people of Israel, but to the entire world, believing that every person remains young as long as he or she never gives up on their dreams, continues to dream more and dream bigger. He would famously say: “If you have more dreams than achievements, you are forever young.”
He named his final project No Room for Small Dreams
because he said the only regret he had as he reached his final days, was not dreaming big enough. As my father wrote in the book: “I was given my life, some two and a half billion seconds: I did some reckoning, and I decided to do something with those seconds so that I might make a difference.
I think I decided correctly. I don’t regret any of my dreams. My only regret is not having dreamt more. I got my life as a gift. I’ll give it up without an overdraft.”
I believe this voice must be echoed and that the book will serve as an eternal guide for future generations to dream, to embrace the power of imagination, and to see, in ourselves, the power to change the world. Read and be inspired.
The writer is the son of Shimon Peres.