Something I wrote a long time ago, maybe 1994…
1. Okay, so if you were president, how would you balance the budget?
2. Should capital punishment be administered by the state under any circumstances?
3. Should the actions of all government leaders be subject to approval by the World Court or the United Nations?
4. If you had a choice, where would you like to have been born and raised? Male or female? City or farm? Any preferred ethnic origin? Oppressor or victim? None of the above?
5. Who makes the best kind of friend: someone a lot like yourself, or someone very different?
6. And what do you want your friends for, other than a lift home?
7. If songs were people, which one would you marry?
8. Is retirement overrated? If maybe, this depends on what? And whose?
9. If people say they want the world to be better for their children, and the next generation says the same thing about their children, how come things are still so bad?
10. Is fate just a concept people invented to rationalize the random chaos of the universe? If so, how can you tell?
11. Is it about peace, justice and the Cambridge Way, or is it about feeding your ego the way you stuff your face with bagels every morning?
12. Let’s suppose that when you die, you meet everyone you’ve ever known in your life (who died before you, that is), and then you all go to a cast party. That this is, in fact, the primary entertainment in the afterlife.
13. If reincarnation is the rule, why shouldn’t more people remember their past lives, besides Shirley MacLaine and the populations of India and Tibet? It might help them to avoid making the same mistake twice, or 33 times for that matter, thus bettering their karma. Or, it might not. Is it in the higher plane’s interest to help those on lower planes? Does First Class care about Coach? And where does Business Class fit in?
14. After you die, will you miss having yourself around? Will you think sadly, “Oh, that used to be my hat?” Will you keep expecting yourself to walk through that door?
If none of these topics appeal to you, you could just have coffee.