hanksryan.jpgTime magazine ran a cover story on “The World’s 100 Most Influential People” and in an even more clever twist, got famous people to write short pieces about other famous people. Oprah Winfrey wrote about Michelle Obama and Diane Sawyer wrote about Oprah. Columnist Joel Stein wrote a funny, albeit insightful, piece about how could these really be the world’s most influential if he’d only heard of 48 of them and only met 7. How can you be influenced by someone you’ve never heard of? I’ve only heard of 35 of them and met nada.

But enough background. This blog is about Tom Hanks, one of the 100. The piece on Hanks was written by Meg Ryan (not one of the 100). Why is this blog about Tom Hanks? Because I love what Meg said about him. It warmed my heart, made me want to follow the power of his example.

“He (Tom Hanks) is interesting because he is interested. He asks great questions and waits for the answers. He has sort of a wondrous capacity for wonder. The magic of history, of the cosmos, of words and of love keep him rapt. All that wonder keeps him happy and humble and wide eyed. Lucky for us, he is contagious that way…. Someone said art is whatever makes you feel less alone. If this is true, then Tom is art. He makes me feel less alone. I imagine he makes a lot of people feel this way. He keeps our best selves, our dream selves, excellent company.”

I don’t know if Tom Hanks is truly one of the 100 most influential people in the world but I do know that the anyone who can spark those words, invoke those feelings in another, has in some way made the world a better place and created an inspirational example.