I recently finished reading a delightful book themed around the age old question: If you could pick five people throughout history, dead or alive, to have dinner with, who would you pick and why?
It seems like such a simple question, but over the course of reading this novel I realized how your 5 choices really define your values and desires. The main character learns so much about the people at her dinner party and even more so about herself. This got me thinking about who would not only be fun to have at a dinner party, but who would also be able to impart wisdom and teach me something more about myself.
These are my five picks for who I would love to have dinner with:
- Audrey Hepburn
- Jimmy Carter
- Gail Simone
- My former college thesis advisor, Dr. Tom
- Lady Gaga
I chose Audrey Hepburn not just because she’s an iconic actress who starred in countless iconic movies, but because she was a genuinely kind person who cared deeply about others. Her work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador positively impacted the lives of so many vulnerable children and her legacy carries on today.
I chose former President Jimmy Carter because he was a forward, thinking, progressive leader who was ahead of his time. During Carter’s term as president, two new cabinet-level departments, the Department of Energy and the Department of Education, were established. I definitely did not think those two departments were created so recently! He also established a national energy policy that included conservation, price control, and new technology such as the solar panels he put on the roof of the White House! While no president is perfect, I admire how much his administration cared about the environment and education.
I chose Gail Simone because, as a young, nerdy, comic-book loving girl, I didn’t have a lot of strong women behind the creation of my favorite comics. Gail Simone changed all that when she called out the sexism within the comic book industry and demanded female characters be treated better, along with the women writers and artists who create them. She started a movement that proved comics weren’t just for boys and made them more inclusive.
I chose Dr. Tom because he was my beloved former college thesis advisor. He was so kind, funny, and smart, but he unfortunately passed away from health complications the night before my last semester of senior year. Although I am so grateful for the advisor that stepped in last minute, I would have loved to work with Dr. Tom on my thesis and finish out my final college year with a mentor and friend for life.
Finally, I chose Lady Gaga because she is an icon known for being unapologetically herself. She debuted when I was in middle school, and for an awkward teenager like myself to see her experiment with fashion, hair and makeup while turning out hit songs and calling out industry sexism, she truly became an icon in my eyes.
While these five individuals topped my dinner party list, I did have quite a difficult time narrowing it down. There are so many incredible people I would adore sitting down with and hearing more about, so I’ve included my runner-up list below!
- Abraham Lincoln
- Angela Davis
- John F. Kennedy
- Dolly Parton
- Stan Lee
- Cassandra Clare
- Clara Barton
- Jane Austen
- Catherine the Great
- Lin Manuel Miranda
I hope this post gives you inspiration to think about the people you value and who you’d love to have dinner with. Maybe it’s an old friend you haven’t seen in years, or reading a book by your favorite historic author. I hope my list inspires you to create one of your own!