Pope Francis (born in 1936): His focus is on humility and the poor and on our beautiful earth. He wrote the encyclical, "Laudate Si," about climate change, caring for the environment, and sustainable development. In the encyclical, he said, "The Earth, our home, is beginning to look like an immense pile of filth."
Stephen Hawking (born in 1942): His focus is on understanding the universe from the perspective of a scientist. He has written such books as "A Brief History of Time, Black Holes, and Baby Universes, and other essays." He said, "Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change."
Langston Hughes (1902-1967): American poet, who wrote about the lives of black people and about their beauty. He also wrote novels, plays, short stories, and more. He wrote:
I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,"
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—
I, too, am America.
Isadora Duncan (1877-1927): She created a dance form, called modern dance, focused on free and natural movements. She said, "You were once wild here. Don't let them tame you."
Marian Anderson (1987-1993): She was a contralto, who performed mostly in concerts and recitals. She was famous in both the United States and in Europe. The composer Jean Sibelius wrote music for her and told her that her performances penetrated the Nordic soul. In the United States, Marian Anderson had to deal with racism. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution refused to permit her to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. She gave her concert outside, instead, at the Lincoln Memorial. She said, "When you stop having dreams and ideals, well, you might as well stop altogether."
Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948): He was the leader of the independence movement, to free India from British rule. He employed tactics of nonviolent civil disobedience. He said, "You must be the change that you want to see in the world."
Question for you: Who would you invite to dinner? Please leave your invites in the comments section. I'm hoping to follow up with a future comments and conversation post.