I had a really interesting discussion about "my favourite dinner guest" with some friends the other day. Imagine you could choose any person and have a dinner with them. Who would you pick?
My first friend said the question is too obvious, because everybody would pick either a dear person (relative, friend) or a celebrity. He himself said that he would like to have dinner with his own father who died when my friend was 14 years old. So in his case, the choice was all about overcoming his fate and turning back the clock.
He was right that one other option would be to meet a celebrity that would otherwise be out of your reach. Another friend said for example that he would like to meet his favourite rap musician Prinz Pi. He said that he feels so close to Prinz Pi, because he can relate a lot to his lyrics. Having listened to his music throughout many years, he feels almost like a friend to him. He said it is a weird to feel so close to somebody you have never met and who doesn't even know about your own existence. He would like to close that gap and get the chance to have some face-to-face interaction with Pi.
But relatives and celebrities did not turn out to be the only choices. My third friend immediately answered "I would invite a street kid for the dinner". He said that most other people get the chance to have nice dinners all of the time. Why not invite a person who normally won't have a nice dinner? What is more, he said that the stories you would hear from a street kid are usually not heard by anybody. He loved the idea of giving the kid the room to speak about dreams, ideas and worries.
Personally, I have often imagined what it would be like to meet a true guru, so I would invite that kind of person to my dinner. I don't have a particular person in mind, but it would be somebody who has reached a high level of personal growth and maturity. Maybe somebody like the Dalai Lama, but not necessarily a famous person. Just somebody who would tell me wise ideas and speak about philosophy with me.
What I liked about this thought-experiment is how much it says about some of our inner longings. The longing to overcome fate, work against social injustice and the quest for deep wisdom. Who would be your own favourite dinner guest?