Reposted from Facebook:
I can truly say that turning 40 has been the best birthday I can remember. I’ve been very reflective of what the last decade offered me, and I look forward with optimism to the future. But let me just say that I have the greatest wife. My dearest Maran helped me ring in my 5th decade with excitement, enthusiasm, and depth as we spent the last several days in NYC. Here are a few highlights in no particular order:
Being in New York for the formal adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals felt like being part of our shared future history. Congratulations to John McArthur, Kate Garvey, and all who were a part of that incredible effort.
I was stunned that Bill Clinton, standing just feet from me, kept making eye contact with me as he spoke passionately about education and the Global Teacher Prize. Turns out he couldn’t keep his eyes off my beautiful wife. Thanks Vikas for bringing them together.
Reconnecting with my dear friend Mark Vlasic led to a lovely, intimate discussion including UNESCO head Irina Bokova on the Timbuktu Renaissance following so much destruction
Tickets to two amazing plays reconnected me to my roots in theater and my love of the stage. Thanks Laura Penn for using your powers to get us the best seats in the house.
Making our way through the sea of humanity that was Global Citizen Fest, with Pearl Jam, Beyonce, Coldplay, Common, Sting, Ed Sheeran and more convening a crowd so that Joe Biden, Michelle Obama and so many more could share the message of the Sustainable Development Goals. Kudos to Hugh Evans for creating something both massive and special.
Attending a session at the United Nations on ending hunger by 2030, just a day after that goal was ratified by 193 countries, and feeling the energy behind this important need.
Enjoying a Wafel & Dinges with its inspiring creator Rossanna Figuera, who told me eating a wafel should be the best moment of your day. It was.
Standing on 51st street, looking up through the buildings, and watching the moon grow small and disappear. I felt at once small and great in this vast universe of ours.
Receiving a zen coloring book from Georgie Benardete, who always knows the book I need at the right moment in my life.
Meeting Ahmed Mohamed on the street and thanking him for making a clock heard ‘round the world.
Enjoying a rooftop party with dear YGL friends on a terrace 70 floors above Central Park. It had a 30-foot tree growing out of the garden.
And incredible meals with Sara Sutton Fell, Binta Niambi Brown, Dana T. Leong, Lutfey Siddiqi, Rajiv Pant, Lara Setrakian, Esteban Bullrich, Elaine Smith, Bruno Sánchez-Andrade Nuño, and so many more. You all truly made my birthday special.
Thank you Maran for making it all possible, and joining me as I become an older, and hopefully wiser, kinder, and more engaged, man.