“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I want to keep the sparkle in the eyes of my three glorious children. And others. How can you make the hope that resides in every person grow and thrive? I was standing in Afghanistan two years ago, surrounded by innocent, magnificent children, and it struck me how similar they are everywhere. They all need and want the same thing. Security. A belief in someone or something. A chance.

Part of this sparkle is created through demonstrating how to be curious. I want to learn everything. To seek. To push. To find the hidden connections between seemingly dissimilar stuff. Like between biology and security networks. Or rainforests and traffic patterns. Or people. And then I want to teach it all.

Part of it is through demonstrating love. I want to celebrate my 75th wedding anniversary with my bride at a huge party in our house by the ocean, surrounded by our children and their children, each with their own sparkle, knowing that I shared my life in full.

Overall, I want to go to sleep every night ready to die and I want to wake up every morning ready to live, to grow that sparkle in others. Anything less would be selling short the gifts I have been given.

— Kurt Scherer