(And I'll clarify that if he or she is a deceased person, that person is alive at least for lunch.)
Recently someone asked me this question, and I'll admit - I had to really think about it.
If I could have lunch with anyone in the world... spend an hour picking their brain... listen to them share words of wisdom... who would it be?
The first person to come into my mind was Maya Angelou. Called "a global renaissance woman", Dr. Angelou is a poet, novelist, educator, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist.
She was born and raised in St. Louis, was a single parent, and is a talented writer. I am moved by her prose, and especially her quotes, which can be heartfelt, like: "My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return." Some are pointed: "As far as I knew white women were never lonely, except in books. White men adored them, Black men desired them and Black women worked for them." Some humorous: "I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass."
I'd love to sit down with her and not say a word - just let her talk - just drink her in and all her wisdom, experience and insight. I'd be sure that she would profess some quote that would unlock all of my life's questions, and that I would leave with the key to the world.
OK, probably not, but I still think it would be amazing.
Who else would be in my Top 5?
Albert Einstein. And not to tap in to his genius brain, but to find out what his weaknesses were. And if he was happy. And if he had any idea the mark he made on this world.
Dr. Seuss. Just to see if he'd order green eggs and ham and talk in nonsensical rhymes.
Dick Hoyt. He's the dad that has competed in marathons and triathlons all across the country - while pushing his son, a quadriplegic, in a wheelchair in front of him. I want to hear his story and see the power that love and determination can do - race after race after race.
Erma Bombeck. If nothing else, to learn how to laugh and be a mom at the same time. And I'd make her put on that hat that she wished she wore instead of held in her hand all those years.
If given more time, I'd probably think of more. My list is ever-changing.
So, who would you choose to have lunch with? Who would inspire you? And what would you take away from your visit?
In the words of Maya Angelou, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."