Bill Petrocelli

Relentlessly Optimistic

I had the pleasure of sharing a stage on Dec. 4 with Khizr Khan for an author event at Dominican University. His book An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice is a wonderful story. Khan is probably the most sincerely optimistic person I have ever met, and his enthusiasm is contagious. His deep faith in American institutions and in the American future seems to derive—perhaps ironically—from his immigrant background.
After his talk, he took the Dominican students aside and gave them a spontaneous chat about public service. He then repeated that emotion-laden pep-talk the next morning at Hall Middle School, after which he came by our Corte Madera store to talk to our staff. The proceeds from his two books are going to a scholarship fund that he and his wife have set up to honor their son, Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in the Iraq war. (If I knew the Pakistani word for mensch, I would insert it here.)