Entry #10 – Dinner Party

Hi everyone, Kohaku here. I hope you all had a great week!

For this Sunday’s entry I wanted to introduce a personal project of mine. It’s actually derived from a history project I had in eighth grade, but it was only recently that I realized the value of it and started doing it again. It’s called “Dinner Party.”

In this project, students had to write letters to 10 famous people whom they admired or respected. There was to be a mix of people living and dead, and a mix of people who lived locally and internationally. In the letters, the students would write about why they liked/admired the person, and then invite them to an actual dinner party we held at the school some months later (one of them actually came!). The project also included elements such as crafting a theme, setting, menu, and visual for a fictional version of that dinner party in which all 10 celebrities could attend.

Now, when I was in eighth grade, I didn’t really have any famous people I looked up to. I was never up-to-date on American culture, music, sports, or celebrities in general. There were a few people I admired and loved, but they weren’t famous. So I just kind of made it up. I wrote to people like Gustave Eiffel and Abraham Lincoln, who, while I certainly admire their contributions to human history, haven’t really had a significant impact on my personal life. Because of that, the project wasn’t very meaningful for me.

Fast forward to the present day, and there are definitely some famous figures I admire. As the years have gone by, my understanding of myself and my values has grown, and I’ve learned about famous people who reflect those same values and can inspire me in my day-to-day life. I’ve also realized that it’s important to keep track of how your values change over time. One way I now do that is through keeping a dinner party list.

I’ve done away with a lot of the rules and other aspects of the project, but the basic premise is the same – keeping a list of 10 famous people whom you admire and respect. The people on the list can change as the days go by, because you might learn about new celebrities who inspire you, or your old inspirations might not influence you as much anymore. Looking at your list at any given time provides a good window into what kind of person you are and what values you stand for.

So, I figured I’d share my current dinner party list with you all. Some of these people I’ve written about or mentioned already; others I haven’t. Parenthetical additions are full names or names in birth languages for reference. I’ve also linked their English Wikipedia pages so you can quickly see who they are. Here we go!

In no particular order:

  1. Yuzuru HANYU (羽生結弦)
  2. Yoshiki (林佳樹)
  3. Sugizo (杉原有音)
  4. GACKT (大城 ガクト)
  5. hide (松本秀人)
  6. Hayao MIYAZAKI (宮崎駿)
  7. Greta THUNBERG
  8. Haruki MURAKAMI (村上春樹 )
  9. HYDE (寶井秀人)
  10. Chachamaru (藤村幸宏)

Have you heard of any of them? Do any stand out to you? A lot of these people are worth learning about beyond Wikipedia, so if you’re interested, give it a go!

Now – what about you? If you were to compile a dinner party list right now, who would be on it? Why? If you’re comfortable, share your list in the comments, or email me. As I’ve said before, I’m always looking to learn.

This week, even if you decide not to make a dinner party list, give some thought to the people you admire. Figure out why you admire them, how they influence you, and whether or not they reflect your values. Make changes if you need to, and then just keep moving forward.

Take care of yourself!

KT

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