We have all heard to dinner table question: "If you were having a dinner party and had to invite 10 people, dead or alive, who would be on your list?"
Which 10 people would you have to dinner?
It strikes me that this is a very interesting question, not just in terms of who you would invite, but also in terms of what your invitation list may say about you.
What might it say about you if Joseph Starlin and Adolf Hitler were on your list? Such selections, of course, would then beg the question of why you chose them. The insights in this regard could be very illuminating.
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So, who is on your list of dinner guests and why?
My biggest problem is breaking it down to 10, given the number of fascinating people that have graced this planet.
Notwithstanding, here is my list:
I really value clarity of thought and would enjoy discussing with him how I might become a better socratic thinker. He was, after all, one of the most clear-thinking people to ever live, a man well ahead of his time, whose work provides lessons to this very day.
The patriarch of the only religion that I have any respect for developed a set of brilliant life principles that must surely work for any reasonable person. I would love to find out, after doing that, how he dreamed up ‘reincarnation’ - an entirely unsubstantiated, ‘wacky” concept.
I would love to understand the mind and thinking of a man who mastered science and the arts, and who provided insights well beyond the imagination of his peers and many people since. Few people have straddled the two sides of the brain the way DaVinci did.
There is no man or woman who has contributed more to English literature than Shakespeare. There is no man or woman who has contributed more to the language than Shakespeare. I would love to understand how he understood life so clearly. Why was he so special?
I can think of few things more interesting than exploring one of the finest minds of all time, a true genius. I can only imagine the brilliance of a man who wrote symphonies without ever owning an eraser - and the beauty to create music that moves the soul so intensely.
I would very much enjoy spending time with a creative mind, an imagination that far surpassed others throughout history. While smart, Einstein’s real contribution was the capacity to use scant data to imagine theories that would take a century to prove right.
While in many ways a less-than-appealing character, Callas was the greatest soprano of all time with a commitment to perfection that was like no other in history and which ultimately led to her demise. I would love to explore her dedication and passion for pure beauty.
I cannot imagine a more complex, multifaceted and contradictory man, who evolved from terrorist to statesman and from enemy of the state to the father of the state. I really want to understand what changed him in prison and how he built such unparalleled wisdom
Arguably one of Australia’s worst political operatives as prime minister, and the leader with the most questionable support in cabinet, Whitlam was the most intellectually gifted and visionary political leader this country ever had. I want to understand him.
I find Fry one of the few truly interesting people in entertainment and the media. He is a man with a range of skills, a compassionate heart and a huge intellect. Fry is an empiricist and that in itself makes him an interesting prospect to talk with. His autobiography was compelling.
I feel this list is so inadequate. There are perhaps too many high-profile people and not enough everyday, unsung people. I have missed out all of my family, for example.
Hopefully, however, I have covered my passions for the mind and thinking, the heart and passion, excellence and imagination.
I think this list highlights much of what I value or consider important.
What do you value and consider important?
Who do you want to invite to dinner and why?
What will it say about you? Come on folks, let's discuss!
To learn more about these 10 incredibly talented people, and others, there are some brilliant biographies available for your reading pleasure.