Who would you most like to have a meal with?

Throughout my life, the message that I needed to have a role model never really sunk in. Mostly, I felt like placing an individual on the role model pedestal (warts and all) was a larger commitment than I was willing to make. This was especially true when I’d never even met the person. My friends would all claim athletes, musicians, etc. as their personal role models. I just didn’t understand it.

My wife and I began playing this “game” a number of years ago and it’s reshaped my idea of identifying role models. It starts with a simple hypothetical question:

If you could share a meal with anyone in the world, who would you choose?

Sharing a meal with someone is an intimate means of meeting someone new. If I’m willing to share a meal with a person, I’ve made a conscious decision to become closer to that individual. I must view them as approachable, inspiring, and engaging if I’m willing to share this experience them. I must also feel like I can make a genuine connection with this person. This has made the idea of a role model much more accessible to me.

So, if I could share a meal with anyone (living) in the world, who would I choose? My answers change regularly, but these are some of my constants*:

  • Steve Martin, Actor, Author, Musician
  • Tina Fey, Actor
  • Julia Louise-Dreyfus, Actor
  • Jerry Seinfeld, Comedian
  • Bill Murray, Actor
  • Stephen Colbert, Comedian
  • Tracey Morgan, Comedian
  • Bernie Sanders, Politician
  • Elizabeth Warren, Politician
  • Jonas Jonasson, Author
  • Jack White, Musician
  • Trevor Noah, Comedian

Clearly, I favor comedians and want to laugh a lot at these lunches :-)

*The one rule we have is that you can’t play the “Jesus” card, meaning that your choices can’t be prominent religious figures (e.g., “Of course, I’d choose Jesus, and Paul, and Joseph Smith, etc.)