Monday, April 23 , 2018, 7:37 am | Fog/Mist 55º


She Said, Z Said: 1.3 Billion Chinese Are Just Waiting to Be Inspired by the Tao of She

Jeremy Lin, Van Jones, even Vin Diesel have got nothing on Leslie Dinaberg — even if she doesn't speak Mandarin

Z: Van Diesel was very inspiring at the Academy of Healing Arts fundraiser last night.

She: It’s Vin Diesel, and it wasn’t Vin Diesel, it was Van Jones.

Z: Van Jones was very inspiring at the AHA fundraiser last night.

She: Did he inspire you to remember people’s names?

Z: No, he inspired me to be more inspirational. I think we should be more inspirational people.

She: I like that idea, but do you think you can fit being more inspirational into your schedule between playing video games and watching The Daily Show?

Z: Are you saying being inspirational might take some work? Because I don’t think that’s the kind of inspirational person I want to be.

She: I think that work is a pretty basic part of being inspiring. Unless you’re trying to inspire the next generation of slackers to better slack, and then I think inspiring slackers is an oxymoron.

Z: I think my real problem is that I lack a convincing back story. I grew up happy and middle class. Who’s going to be inspired by the way I overcame a supportive and pleasant upbringing?

She: Don’t forget the Ivy League education and the tall, white male thing. You poor dear.

Z: It’s tough out there.

She: But there are other ways to be inspiring besides overcoming great obstacles. You can inspire through great works, brilliant ideas, or by doing good things.

Z: It sounds like you’re pushing the work angle again. Feh.

She: Van Jones sounds like he had a perfectly nice upbringing, and still manages to inspire with excellent stories and experiences.

Z: Yeah, but he’s already worked at the White House — and he’s a little younger than I am, too. Aren’t we too old to start becoming inspirational?

She: Not at all. In fact, now would be the perfect time to do something inspiring. Who would ever expect it?

Z: You’re still suggesting work, aren’t you?

She: You could start a charity.

Z: Too hard.

She: You could become a gourmet chef or learn to give really great massages.

Z: I’m talking about doing great things that inspire millions of people to go and do even greater things; you’re talking about little things that would make you happy. That’s not inspiration, that’s self-interest.

She: But I might be inspired to be nicer to you if you cooked for me.

Z: I’ll get right on that. How about you? How do you aspire to inspire millions?

She: I think that the perfect way for me to become more inspirational would be to become the president of China.

Z: Huh?

She: Seriously, how’s this for a back story?  A nice, Jewish girl from Santa Barbara moves to China where she doesn’t speak a word of the language and is taller than everyone else. She learns Chinese, gains the trust and love of a nation, and becomes president. How awesomely inspiring would that be?

Z: This is the simplest plan you could come up with?

She: It’s the Jeremy Lin story, only in reverse, and without the basketball.

Z: So while you’re doing your Manchurian Candidate thing, should I take up basketball in China?

She: That would be Zaktastic. And it would totally help with my presidential campaign. We’d be the inspirational couple of the decade. You’d better get to work on your jump shot.

Z: Right after you start learning Mandarin.

She: I can see the magazine covers now: “She and Z Inspire Millions. Z Still Won’t Cook for She.”

Z: Yes, dear.

— Who inspires you? Tell She and Z by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). And follow them on Twitter: @lesliedinaberg. Click here for previous She Said, Z Said columns.

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