October is a month known for sweaters, pumpkins and fall leaves. It is also Breast Cancer Awareness month, a time when we rally around survivors, family, friends and remember those who lost their battle to the most common form of female cancer. So what do we need to be aware of?
My parents tell a story about a debate around my birth.
They were newly married and had moved to the US for my father’s medical training. They had arrived in this country with $8, but through hard work and determination, were building a life together. They believed in the American dream.
The fact was that it was expensive to deliver me in the US, and it would be less expensive for my mother to fly back to India and have me there, surrounded by her parents and in-laws. My grandparents could then buy the ticket for her to return here with me.
But here was the problem. Continue reading
Last night, my 13-year old daughter asked me what was the latest in Syria. In our family, we regularly talk about world events — whether it is the circus of the US pre-election cycle (during the first Republican debate, they gasped when Donald Trump reference Rosie O’donnell as a “fat pig, slob, dog”), the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the numerous incidents related to it, the situation in the Middle East, or the latest research on the importance of sleep (truly, I talk to my kids often about this as I want them to understand how important it is!)
I was telling the girls (Leela, my younger daughter is 11) about the refugee crisis in Europe, and how the image of the 3-year old little Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, who drowned while the boat his family was escaping on capsized, moved hearts in a way that shifted inaction, not just of governments, but of everyday people as well. The girls asked what image… So I pulled it up, warning them it was difficult to see. Tara hesitated a moment before looking, anticipating that perhaps indeed this was something she didn’t want to see. But, I watched as she looked with determination. Continue reading
September 15th kicks off a month long celebration of Hispanic Heritage here in the US. As of 2013, official census reports show 54 million people of Hispanic origin living in the US, currently 2nd to only Mexico as home to a Hispanic population. By 2060, it is expected that those numbers will have more than doubled. Today we share quotes from writers, athletes, politicians and a variety of other thought leaders and innovators from a culture rich in wisdom and life! Continue reading
Today marks the tragic anniversary of the terrorist attacks that saw the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City, the damage of the Pentagon outside of Washington, D.C. and the loss of four planes filled with American civilians. Even 14 years later, we grieve the unnecessary loss of so many.
In memory, Nasa shared this image taken by a satellite over the city shortly after the event:
At the same time, American astronaut Frank Culbertson was watching from the International Space Station. A letter he penned that day said,
“It’s difficult to describe how it feels to be the only American completely off the planet at a time such as this. The feeling that I should be there with all of you, dealing with this, helping in some way, is overwhelming. I know that we are on the threshold (or beyond) of a terrible shift in the history of the world. Many things will never be the same again after September 11, 2001.”
When I left a screening of the movie, The Prophet, two weeks ago in Los Angeles, my first wish was that I had taken my daughters to watch it with me. I was inspired by the lyricism of the film, and as thoughtful as ever about the contemplations that the book had stimulated for me during my many readings. Continue reading
Love. The world. Career.
What do we do with it all? How do we navigate it all? An even bigger question- where do we look for wisdom when it comes to answering the big questions of life?
“Inspired by the idea that one of the greatest gifts one generation can give to another is the wisdom gained from experience, filmmaker and photographer Andrew Zuckerman traveled the globe to interview more than fifty of the world’s most prominent writers, artists, designers, actors, politicians, and religious and business leaders – all over the age of sixty-five. WISDOM captures their voices, physical presences, words and ideas, to provide a legacy for the generations that follow and a timeless portrait of the universalities that connect us all.”
At breakfast this morning, my family was reflecting on our summer. “The highlight of summer so far,” my elder daughter, Tara (13 years old), said, “was attending the World Games for the Special Olympics.”
My family is incredibly blessed, and our summer has included concerts, Broadway shows, world travel, lots of good food, relaxation, Disneyland and many other highlights. As my younger daughter, Leela (11 years old), nodded enthusiastically, I was moved by what an extraordinary statement they were making.
We attended the Opening Ceremony of the World Games for Special Olympics last weekend. The Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with intellectual disabilities that provides year-round training and competition for 4.4 Million athletes in 170 countries.
A few weeks ago while in Washington D.C. with my father, I attended a private dinner with Tim Shriver, the chairman of the Special Olympics. Tim was passionate and articulate about the event, as well as dispelling some of the assumptions even we had about people with intellectual disabilities. Tim is truly a humble champion for people with intellectual disabilities, and the Shriver family must be applauded for taking an event that his mother, Eunice Shriver, started over 40 years ago and making it into a global social movement that it is today. As written about in this NY Times piece, Special Olympics and The Burden of Happiness, there is a long way still to go. The World Games truly felt like a Utopian world, and the stark reality for many of these people is very different and one is reminded of the need to champion human rights for all. Continue reading
This weekend is the 4th of July! It usually means fireworks, BBQs, and red, white & blue.
It can get pretty wild, but the truth is it’s nothing compared to cannon fire, burning effigies, and melting statues down into bullets like the original colonists. We love this retelling by History Channel of the original 4th of July party!
How do you celebrate Independence Day?
On July 4th, the United States celebrates it’s independence and birth as a new nation more than 200 years ago. Relatively young when it comes to nation, this country has been having a conversation about what freedom means and looks like since it’s inception.
Is freedom the right to do whatever you want?
Is it a home with a white picket fence?
Is it an idea or a philosophy?
We turn to great thinkers of our time and ask what freedom meant to them: Continue reading