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If you were given 30 seconds to share...

something you care passionately about, what would you say?

The Background

Every chance I get, I go to Creative Mornings New York, live and in person. The speakers are amazing, the folks that show up are friendly and all in. It’s always great experience.

Ami Dar, the founder of, was the speaker a few weeks ago. I was curious to hear about his latest project. As I filled out my name tag, I saw the opportunity to enter my name into the drawing for a 30-second pitch on stage in front of about 350 people at the CUNY Graduate Center in NYC. You can pitch whatever you like–your latest project, that you’re looking for new work, you’re looking for a date, you name it, it’s all fair game. I couldn’t imagine what I would talk about. When I said that out loud, one of the volunteers said, “Well, you have time to think about it during the presentation.” I tossed my slip of paper into the pitchwheel, not knowing what I would talk about. I walked back to a colleague of mine and mused about it. What would I talk about if chosen?

The Challenge

Just a few minutes later, as we sat in the large auditorium, my name was called! I was stunned. I had nothing to write with except my iPad, Apple Pencil, a pen, and a small square napkin from the breakfast treats. I wasn’t going to bring an iPad on stage and yet I felt I had to have some notes. 

The Result

So, I wrote and drew on the front and the back of a napkin… choosing one of my passions, which is, living my life fully by recognizing my mortality. I began…

“When I become stardust, I want to have loved well, lived well, and left the world a better place. I can do that by recognizing my mortality. Life is a gift! My passion is for life – all of it. I am all about making every moment count. We will never have this time again. My gift to you is this request—embrace it all, all of your life. If you're into talking about celebrating life by talking about death and dying, my offer is, I’m listening.”

To my surprise and delight, people shared their appreciation for my death positive message. About a half dozen folks spent time talking with me afterward. My thinking—people are hungry for these important conversations. If you’re so inclined, reach out to me—we’ll chat. 

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