Life may not begin at 40, but it's an excellent time to consider a second (or third, or fourth) act. Is there something you've always wanted to do? Something you were scared to try, because you'd be devastated if you failed? Take a deep breath and go for it. Trust me: it's way more satisfying than buying a convertible.
Since I read Mandela's book, Long Walk to Freedom, in Iran's Evin prison in 2000, I felt stronger and more committed to my activism work. He gave me hope and power to fight against the Iranian dictatorship. What's even more amazing is that every one of my cell mates were reading his book as well. I'll never forget what his words gave me.
At the Wisdom 2.0 Business conference, I experienced this raw honesty over and over. It was truly moving. At one point, there were over 200 diverse people, coming from various backgrounds, chanting OM together then revering the silence that came after. It wasn't our titles or egos or the performance of our last quarter that brought us together.
I'd gathered from our five-minute conversation that Cary barely kept up with the Joneses, supporting his wife and young son with income from occasional film-editing jobs. I tasted the bitterness that coated his words, felt the chill of his failure seep into my bones. He had moved his family to Los Angeles in order to make it big in the movie biz. Around him, he saw people climbing the ladder of success, but he could not budge.
Marie Hopps was the first person I ever met who thought I was lovely, just because I existed. Every few days, I would stumble into Marie's apartment from one of my escapades, looking like a tomcat with a missing eye or a torn ear. She would patiently make a pot of tea and offer me chocolate digestive cookies, seemingly unfazed by the sight of my bloodshot eyes. I miss her.
To teach is to forever be a part of something bigger. Is to forever be a piece of that sacred puzzle which creates something profound from that which is very small. That is the beauty of the life of a child. To teach is to touch lives. To listen. To lift. To motivate. To compel. To inspire. To encourage. To enrich. And above all, to teach is to use one's life to make a difference.
"What do you want to do with your life?" It's a question that almost every young adult is faced with after graduating college or university. For some, the answer is simple: grad school, medical school, travel or volunteer. For many, the answer is unclear. With this in mind, young adults are asking: Do I need higher education?
I applaud Angelina Jolie for her bravery and willingness to share her experience with the public. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, six years ago, I was not aware of the extent of my family's history with the disease. I know how it feels to be there. And even if you're a movie star, those decisions remain the same.
The memories of my mother are not of a cancer victim, they are not of a shaved head, or intravenous tubes, or a frail body. They are her wonderful spirit, her brave beautiful smile, and a loving acceptance of life that was contagious with everyone she touched. My mother didn't just talk the talk, she walked the walk.