I join all of you who are advocates telling others that they can improve their lives and the quality of their lives and others by taking a few moments, breathing, and allowing one's whole being to become a vessel for positivity.
My early childhood was spent living by the Pacific Ocean. I carry with me something imprinted by that wide, limitless horizon, which I learned connected us to different people and cultures, including my own family's origins in the Arab World and Northern Europe. I understood early that my world was only a small part of a much larger one. That captivated me.
The film and media technology that's available today is going to be the most potent weapon in our arsenal in tackling ideological intolerance and ignorance, as well as the kind of fear and stereotyping that can dehumanize the others as the enemy, as being somehow less entitled to the privileges and the aspirations that we have.
Even into the 20th century, women were still struggling in the Western world for rights that Islam had granted women in the 7th century: equal rights to education; the right to own and inherit property; to have a voice in the decisions affecting their lives; to be active, engaged, and valued members of society at all levels.
What keeps me awake at night is just, Am I making the best use of the time that remains for me, to both be as good an example as I can in my own daily life, and as compelling as possible a voice for the ways in which we can all work together to tackle these issues.