OPINION: The 10 Most Admired People Of 2018 (Excluding Washington And Hollywood)

Darren McCollester/Getty Images for Boston Children's Hospital

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Lists of most-admired people are circling around. With politics affecting everything around us, a list of most-admired people of 2018 that doesn’t include media, politics or Hollywood seems necessary.

The top 10 are as follows:

  1. California firefighters — Days and days of exhausting work did not deter these heroes from fighting for the lives of others. As the flames engulfed one community after the other, in the face of treacherous weather, California firefighters fearlessly fought the flames until ultimately taking control of these fires.
  2. Undercover agents — Believe it or not, there are people who risk their lives and work extraordinarily hard so that others can be safe. They never get the recognition of their friends or family, they often have spouses that don’t know what they are doing. They do it because it is the right thing to do and they all deserve our thanks. Whether it is CIA agents abroad, undercover FBI agents that catch child molesters and keep children safe, or Mossad agents in Teheran exposing Iran’s nuclear secrets, they are all heroes and deserve nothing but admiration.
  3. Child patients — Fighting for their lives one day and going to school the next — in children’s hospitals across the nation, these young patients are heroes. These children with cancer and other chronic diseases are constantly doing their best to keep their lives as normal as they can. They hold the true heroic spirit of America. Seeing kids ready to do whatever it takes to keep on living should teach us all a lesson about what life is all about and the fierceness with which we should tackle it.
  4. NYPD Chief Terrence Monahan — While many cities in the United States have struggled with rising levels of crime, New York keeps on seeing crime levels go down. Much of this is thanks to community policing policies implemented by NYPD Chief Terrence Monahan, whom I had the honor of meeting. Cities around America count on the NYPD on advice for making their cities safer as New York City is currently the safest large city in the United States.
  5. Dr. Ronald Levy (“the Cancer Vaccine”) — 2018’s greatest breakthrough in cancer research has been the cancer vaccine developed by Dr. Ronald Levy from Stanford University and his team. While the breakthrough had not been fully studied in humans, it has shown to eliminate cancer cells in mice. In a field of such a leading cause of illness in death, this is a huge breakthrough. We need more people like Dr. Ronald out there in the field.
  6. The Kurds — From defending the Yazidis, to fighting and defeating ISIS in many battles, the Kurdish people have shown themselves to be valiant fighters, lovers of democracy, and altruistic fighters who will go an extra mile for others — because it is the right thing to do. We have all watched them from the distance with admiration. They now face the threat of a vicious and unhinged Turkey, and yet they keep on fighting with courage and humanity. We all admire them and are amazed at what they are doing.
  7. Hurricane relief workers — From Hurricane Michael, Maria, Florence, to other smaller hurricanes, disaster relief workers risked their lives to help others. Running from house to house warning people to leave, helping people rebuild their lives, and making sure they get more help if they need it. Hurricane workers should have everyone’s admiration.
  8. Bill Gates — In a day and age where many new billionaires do not understand the responsibility that comes with wealth, Bill Gates continues to show others that with wealth comes responsibility. As he once said, “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” One does not need to agree with Bill Gate’s policies to admire his recognition of his responsibility as one of the world’s wealthiest people. Att: Jeff Bezos.
  9. Moms — We were all born to one. They are those amazing creatures who will wake up at 3 a.m. to take care of their children, who will oversee their school work, and make sure that they are doing well. Often, they do this without much recognition or just hearing from their teen children about everything they could have done differently. They deserve our admiration.
  10. Doctors who don’t over prescribe — The opioid epidemic killed more than 50,000 (!!!) of our fellow Americans. Much of this is because of doctors who overprescribe painkillers. Some doctors do it so they don’t need to hear the complaints of pain, others so they are rated better, some so they don’t get sued. Then there are the brave doctors who will tell you to bite something and endure the pain because a painkiller may kill you. They are saving lives, sometimes at their own professional risk. If all doctors would behave that way, thousands will be saved. Full disclosure: one of those doctors is my wife.

Rabbi Elchanan Poupko is the interim rabbi at Congregation Ramath Orah and a teacher at Park East Day School in New York. He is also president of EITAN, the American-Israei Jewish Network.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.