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RE: Robert Levy (By Johnny Levy)

RE: Robert Levy
From: Johnny Adam Levy

Robert is my younger brother, so I’ve known him all his life. I know him as “Bobby,” so that’s how I’ll refer to him for the rest of this document. I know that references written by relatives can be seen as biased or “thin.” But on the other hand, who would know someone’s strengths and weaknesses like family? If someone lived with you for many years, and was willing to give an honest assessment of your character based on life experience, wouldn’t that be something of incredible value? I believe it would be, and therefore I will endeavor to give that kind of an assessment. I have a great deal of respect for Bobby as a human being, and would like to give my specific observations about what makes him special. Bobby exhibits the character qualities of sincerity, compassion, and creativity.

Sincerity is “Eagerly doing what is right with transparent motives.” To know Bobby for any length of time is to know that he is a straight-shooter with a big heart. I have always known Bobby to be remarkably sincere and straight forward. This is great for relationships because you always know where you stand with Bobby; with him there is a refreshing lack of deceit or pretense. He values openness and transparency. If he thinks the air needs to be cleared, he will get things out into the open for the healing and building of the relationship. There are many times where Bobby has come to me, his older brother, with important issues that needed be discussed and resolved for the sake of keeping our relationship healthy. I am humbled by this, and see it as a mark of relational maturity on his part. Bobby’s sincerity is valuable, because it enables him to maintain good relationships and shows how much he cares about the health of his relationships.

Compassion is “Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others.” Bobby is a man of compassion, and his past job decisions and current career course are the clear evidence of the true leanings of his heart. It is no question to me that Bobby wants to be useful in helping people develop and healing their hurts. This is just the kind of man that God made him. One example of this was camp. Bobby worked for several summers at a camp in upstate New York, the Fresh Air Fund’s Camp Hayden-Marks. This camp was for inner-city kids, aged 9-12. We are talking about kids from inner-city New York, many with severe emotional problems and all kinds of related issues, often manifesting as anger, violence, depression, and the whole gamut of behaviors that stem from being unloved and neglected, or facing heartbreaking circumstances of life. When Bobby started there, I was in a leadership position and had the opportunity to watch him interact with the kids. Bobby simply loved on these children and accepted them. Bobby gravitated towards the “hard cases,” and you would often see him cradling the back of a kid’s head with his big hand, looking the child directly in the eyes, and speaking earnestly to him in order to diffuse a situation and restore peace and community. If I were to try and sum up Bobby’s compassion in an image, this is the image that comes to mind. More evidence to the claim is the fact that Bobby completed an internship, just before graduating college, where he was working with at-risk youth on probation. Having completed his degree, he is now heading into a career of investing his life to heal the hurts of others; he wants to work with troubled youth. I know that he will excel in this, because he is built for it. He’s been on this track for a long time – and it’s not a career choice as much as a life choice, from what I can see. The career focus is just a reflection of how he has chosen to live. And to me, that’s the kind of guy you want doing the job – someone who lives it, whether the paycheck comes or not. Bobby has demonstrated that he is this kind of person, intrinsically motivated, not motivated by a desire for prestige or riches.

Creativity is “Approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective.” Bobby is an out-of-the-box thinker. He goes about life with an original and unique perspective. This can be seen in Bobby’s artwork and creative writing. It can also be seen in his gift-giving; Bobby puts a lot of thought into giving original, thoughtful, and heartfelt gifts to the people he loves. He recently created a small photo album for me for my birthday that was one of my favorite gifts. This creativity is also something he brings to relationships, and makes him effective in dealing with people. Here’s an example: Bobby has developed a relationship with a man in his neighborhood with some pretty severe emotional and cognitive disabilities. Bobby described him to me as someone discouraged, with very few relationships because of his communicative limitations. Bobby wanted to find a way to connect with, and ultimately be a benefit to this man, so he had the idea to collaborate on a fictional story. The two met repeatedly, and Bobby painstakingly recorded their conversations and transcripted the ideas into book form. I had a chance to read some of this, and I was blown away by the creative narratives, images, and ideas that poured out of this man, like a faucet turned on by someone who cared enough to make the attempt. Bobby’s compassion and creativity enabled him to engage the man, and helped create an outlet for the man’s hidden gift of storytelling. Bobby’s creativity, coupled with his compassion, enables him to find ways to reach people who are difficult to reach, and encourage people who are difficult to encourage. He does this in regular life, which indicates that he has the passion and commitment to excel professionally, as well.

In my experience and observation, Bobby is not only a good, but an extraordinary candidate for any job where his compassion, sincerity, and creativity will be put to good use in helping others. This doesn’t only apply to human services positions, but also to any jobs where he has the opportunity to interact with people in a caring and positive way. I would describe Bobby as someone with a hospitable heart, and would recommend him for any position for which he is qualified.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


Johnny Adam Levy

*Download PDF for contact info (Below)
My definitions for character traits come from the Character First curriculum of the “49 Character Qualities.”

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