Thursday, November 02, 2006

Three people I'd love to meet

Betina writes:

Heroes can be fragile things. In this day of papparazzi, exposes, and tell-all books we often find those we would otherwise have admired, mired in scandal and demystified by unpleasant revelations. Still it's important to have people we admire, role models, leaders. . . yeah, even heroes.

I've been thinking a lot about this for some reason. Maybe because several of my former admirees have been struck by oncoming tabloids and their human foibles are now splattered all over the public discourse. Paul McCartney. Lance Armstrong. Watson and Crick. Albert Einstein. Leonardo DaVinci. Truly each of these people have done something interesting, admirable, or downright amazing. . . in spite of the fact that they're all simply human and personally flawed.

So, picking out heroes, larger than life figures to admire and emulate, has gotten trickier of late. So I've decided that admiring/revering the whole person and putting them on a pedestal was probably never a great idea. That doesn't mean I can't pick out a person's best quality/product/discovery/deed and admire that aspect of them. From now on, that's exactly what I'll do. Admire Lance Armstrong for his courage, tenacity, and astounding athleticism. Admire Paul McCartney for his uncanny ability to create music that touches, enlivens, and ennobles the rest of us. Admire Albert Einstein's ability to step outside the normal and expected way of looking at the world to discover something entirely new and radically unique. . . something that would change the entire world's view of nature.

If I could meet three living people, have a sit down and an unfettered, untimed chat. . . who would it be? Hmmmm. For every one I name, there will be at least three that pop up in my head as soon as I post this.

Michio Kaku, a physicist with a paradigm-breaking mind, author of "Hyperspace" and "Visions" and "Beyond Einstein." He has his hand on the pulse of science and technology the way Carl Sagan did on the pulse of Astronomy. His books are amazing in their clarity and accessibility. I'd love to hear what he sees coming in the near future.

Marcus Borg, a theologian and thinker and spokesman for "a new Christianity." A member of the Jesus Seminar, he has written simply and eloquently about faith matters in the modern world.

Maya Angelou, a poet, teacher, and wise, wise woman whose pithy, insightful words have given me something to guide my actions in life.

Ted Turner. . . the media mogul, rich as Croesus. . . but also an ardent conservationist who has bought hundreds of thousands-- maybe millions by now-- of acres of land all over the western US and returned it to its natural state. . . to hold for posterity. Fascinating, complicated man.

Okay that's four. I know. But I could go on. And yes, there are some writers and a few Hollywood folks I'd love to meet and chat with (Kurt Vonnegut, Susan Sarandon, oh, and Matthew McConaughey), but I said three, right?

(Okay, I just had to put Matthew in. I confess to being under the influence of dimples.)

Unfortunately some of the people I would have named only a few years ago have died. And "people from history that I'd love to meet" is a whole different post.

What about you? Are there some living people you admire and you'd love to meet? How about sharing who and why?


Michele said...

Definately Mother Angelica, the nun who single-handedly created EWTN and refuses to be put back by pain, idiocy (in others) or her own lacking finances.

I too, wouldn't mind chatting with Lance Armstrong. Amazing man. Sexy, determined, and so he has trouble keeping a woman. Heck, he should be out there playing the field! Have some fun, Mr. Armstrong. You have my permission.

It's a toss up between Anne Rice and Neil Gaiman, because I should have one writer in the mix. Both would be interesting, but perhaps it would be more delightful to listen to Mr. Gaiman's British accent.

And if I could invite one long-dead personality to the table, it would have to be the real d'Artagnan, Charles de Batz Castlemore. (I'm a bit obsessed with the fellow.) I wonder what he would think to know one of the most popular classics in the book world had been written about him?

Debra Dixon said...

Maya Angelou's work is a amazing. Each time I pick something up I feel the words speak to *me.* That's an amazing talent. And when I've seen her in a discussion format she is so well-spoken. By that I mean, that even without pausing it's as if she ::gasps:: thinks before she speaks and formulates a thoughtful opinion. Rather than just blurting out a tumble of words.

I wish I could sit down with my dad again. I dearly miss him. A serious hero.

Betina couldn't seem to limit herself to just a few individuals and I'm finding that's my problem. There is much to admire in so many people.

Right now I wish I had the time to study dreams and talk with some of the top dream researchers in both the scientific and symbolic fields.

anne frasier said...

jd salinger and bob dylan

i'm running off to think some more.
anne rice would be very interesting.

Betina Krahn said...

Michele, if I had been naming historical people, I would have absolutely named Mother Teresa. Some of her sayings have had a profound effect on me: "There are no small acts of love."

And Anne, JD Salinger, yes!

And Deb, I feel the same way about my dad.

And Don Krahn. . . there are times I'd really love to talk to him about things.

Dibs on the first "WAYBACK" Machine!!

:) Betina

anne frasier said...

i'd like matthew to come over and make that beer can turkey thing. ;)

Betina Krahn said...

Anne, lol, I be he knows how. . . being a good ol' Texas boy.

And I have to say, there is one other person that fascinates me. Singer/Rockgod Bono. What an interesting guy he is. And what a voice. Worldly, a bit like too much vodka and cigarettes, emotionally haunting. And sometimes just hard-rockin'. And still he gets in to see heads of state and works on world concerns like hunger and land mines and peace.

Strong and capable and brainy. Sigh. My kind of man.

;) Betina

Helen Brenna said...

Sorry for chiming in so late. Crazy, crazy week.

This was a hard one for me. I think because I'd be too intimidated by most of the people I admire to actually carry on a converstation with them.

And Betina, you astound me, knowing all this about all these scientists. How do you keep up with that stuff?

Here's a good one. Jesus. Wouldn't talking to him be a trip?

Gloria Steinem
Golda Meier
Mohatma Gandhi
John Lennon
Sheryl Crow
Katherine Hepburn

Betina Krahn said...

Ooooh, cool. Gloria Steinem. Didn't even think about her. And Golda. . . now there was a woman with a capital W. What is it with the "G" girls?

And yes, John Lennon, he would be fascinating to talk to now, especially with the social and political scene we have these days.

As for the science. . . I was a science major who married a physicist and has a physicist for a son. I keep up. Sort of a hobby. . . plus, I can talk to my brilliant kid without looking like a total moron. Plus, I love to read science fiction and have secret dreams of writing some science fiction/romance stuff. Don't ask me how it would work. . . I've read a couple and they amaze me. Maybe someday I'll figure it out.

:) Betina

Betina Krahn said...

And Jesus. Yeah. Of course. lol. I'd have mentioned him earlier but I limited it to living people. But I guess you can make a major argument for the fact that he's still living. . .

;) Betina