I’m very pleased to share with you all that three days ago, on my birthday, with a little help from the incredibly heroic and very dear New York Times columnist Nick Kristof, (see above), I proposed to my partner Steph and she said “yes.”
I’ve blogged twice before — here and here — about the book Nick co-authored with his wife Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. Certainly one of most important books ever written, it has inspired a television miniseries, a Facebook game, and a movement that I’m now very proud to be a part of as Lead for Religious Outreach.
The book and the movement have also had an unexpected effect on my personal life…
I met Steph, who is both completing a degree at University of the West and also working for the institution, when she came to my office to introduce herself. She was keen to restart our defunct student chapter of Amnesty International on campus, which I had led in years past, with a new focus on their women’s rights campaigns. This discussion very quickly revealed how moved and motivated we both had been by reading Half the Sky. A friendship followed, as well as many epically long conversations about women’s issues and especially Half the Sky (we must have discussed every page by now). And then a romance blossomed.
I was thrilled when Nick said he would help with the proposal, and you can see how he helped me segue into asking on the Half the Sky Movement’s Facebook page here.
I feel like the luckiest guy in the universe. Steph is my best friend and my hero. I love her very much, and can’t imagine being without her. She certainly made this year’s birthday (like every other day with her) very happy indeed.
I’m eternally grateful to Nick and everyone at the Half the Sky Movement, not just for their help with the proposal, but also for all the work that they do. Steph has said that she’s glad Half the Sky was a starting point for our relationship because it undoubtedly means that we’ll always be thinking about and working on women’s issues. “If only every couple could meet this way…” she has said. We both certainly hope you’ll get involved too at halftheskymovement.org.
May you all be happy, may you all be well, may you all be peaceful…
[I also want to give a shout-out to Do Amore, the ethical engagement ring company where I found Steph's ring. Not only are the rings really phenomenal -- made in the U.S. from recycled precious metals and conflict-free diamonds -- but buying one ensures that two people in the developing world will receive clean water for the rest of their lives. The staff was above and beyond amazing and helpful too. I'm forever grateful to them as well.]