126th Ask Josh – Most Influential People

In Uncategorized on March 29, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Question: Who are your top 50 people? I want you to compile a list of your favorite 50 people in order from 1 to 50 and then explain why these 50 people are your favorite.
Dear Anonymous/Derek,
This is worse than winning an Emmy/Tony/Grammy/Oscar/Golden Globe/Screen Actors Guild Award/Nobel Prize or any kind of award. If you fail to acknowledge someone at any of those you have the excuse of saying, "Well, I wanted to mention you, but they started playing the music and started pushing me off stage." That works. There is no excuse for this one if I leave somebody out. 
Since picking favorites is so overrated anyway, and in matters of taste mine is not really one to be imitated anyway, I hope you'll be satisfied by the top 50 most influential people in my life. How about that?
The top 50 most influential people in Josh Guest's life (that does not make them the favorites). And Derek, you are automatically disqualified from the list because you asked the question, but your band is in there.
Movie Industry
50. Audrey Hepburn – beautiful, talented, looks like and loved by AllLindsay .
49. Sylvester Stallone – Thanks for the Rocky's, Sly.
48. Kenneth Branagh – I love all his work with Shakespeare, especially in Much Ado About Nothing. And his speech on Henry V echoed through all my mission and all my life since then.
47. James Earl Jones – Star Wars, Sandlot, Dr. Strangelove… stellar. I also love that he read the entire Bible outloud for all to hear.
46. Jimmy Stewart – It's A Wonderful Life, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, also reminds me of my grandpa.
45. Roberto Benigni – Life is Beautiful. He made me see the potential for humor in every situation.
44. Woody Allen – Zelig, Broadway Danny Rose, Annie Hall, Hollywood Ending, Small Time Crooks, the man is a genius.
43. Joel and Ethan Coen – O Brother Where Art Thou, Raising Arizona, Hudsucker Proxy. They taught me that a joke can be uproariously funny even if most people don't get it.
42. Gene Kelly – He can dance, he can sing (in the rain, no less). "Dignity. Always dignity."
41. Rodgers and Hammerstein – Oklahoma, Sound of Music, Cinderella. So many great musicals. Love these guys.
40. Bob Dylan – Don't Think Twice, It's Alright. To Make You Feel My Love. Girl From the North Country.
39. Bob Seger – Against the Wind. Night Moves. We've Got Tonight. Like a Rock.
38. Michael Jackson – Love his work with the Jackson 5. Thriller. The moonwalk. His dancing is great. Now a hiss and a byword for his personal life, his musical career remains legendary.
37. Jim Steinman – So much emotion and poetry put to song.
36. Neil Diamond – Doesn't seem to mind that some of his music doesn't make any sense.
35. Paul Simon – known to be the most intelligent songwriter alive.
34. Johnny Cash – gritty, raw, the man in black.
33. Elvis Presley – What can I say? He's the king.
32. Cat Stevens – while his song Father and Son doesn't really describe the relationship with my father, I found it interesting that both my father and I listened to this song over and over again as young men.
31. Those boys of Broken Hearted Rounds – Derek, John, and Nat. Love them forever. Like them for always. And they physically move me.
30. Sam Kinison – "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" 
29. Jimmy Fallon – "Star Wars" 
28. Bob Newhart –  "Superman ", Sir Walter Raleigh, many others.
27. Eddie Murphy – Disguised as a White Man. James Brown.
25. Paula Poundstone – Cats, Cops, and Stuff. 
24. Demetri Martin – Jokes with Guitar. 
23. George Carlin – Baseball v. Football 
22. Bill Cosby – Dentists . Beatings. Jeffery . Brain Damage . Natural Child Birth . 
21. Jerry Seinfeld – "I'm Telling You For the Last Time " 
20. Shel Silverstein – The Giving Tree . Sara Cynthia Sylvia Stout . Wrote Johnny Cash's Boy Named Sue .
19. Edgar A. Guest – "It takes a Heap O' Livin' in a house to make it home."
18. Gordon B. Hinckley – Made me want to stay a journalist after seeing it wasn't all I thought it would be. Made me want to get all the education I can. Showed me how to use self-deprecating humor. Will always think of him as "my prophet."
17. Winston Churchill – "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat."

"We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all our strength that God can give us. . . .That is our policy. You ask, What is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory–victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror; victory, however long and hard the road may be."

"We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

16. Abraham Lincoln – "The result is not doubtful. We shall not fail; if we stand firm, we shall not fail. Wise counsels may accelerate, or mistakes delay it, but sooner or later, the victory is sure to come."
15. Jeffrey R. Holland – I listen to his talks over and over again. I buy all his books when I find them used. Whenever I write a talk, I seek to care about my topic as much as he does, to care about the individuals listening as much as he does. His conviction, his command of the English language, his love of the Gospel. 
14. Dave Barry – Made me want to become a humorous writer. Inspired me to pursue journalism.
13. William Shakespeare – I have read more of his works than I have of any other author. I seek opportunities to quote him as much as I can.
12. Neal A. Maxwell – The perfect balance of humility and eloquence. 
11. C.S. Lewis – The great bridge-builder between logic and faith.
10. Nat/John/Derek/Zack/Dane/Casey/Bryce/Jeremy/John – How can I be expected to categorize these guys and rank them? I can't help but feel that the Lord arranged to have them all put in the same place just so He could get me through college. Nat thinks it through. John C. laughs and loves unconditionally. Derek works his butt off for his family now and the future family he has yet to meet. Zack speaks the truth in earnest, for better or for worse. Dane bears a testimony that makes the earth shake. Casey works through times, however tough, loves his wife, works his hardest. Bryce fights on, always joking. Jeremy is preparing to be translated, as he floats from the bunk bed beneath me I hope he gets stuck carrying me on his way up, John B. epitomizes coolness and sharing.
9. Michael & Lauren Schreiner – the only shoulders I've ever cried on. My therapists. The best missionaries I know. Thoroughly good people. Hard-working, compassionate, good-natured people. I love them so very much.
8. Allison Stewart Phair – One of my best friends in high school. Inspired me to play sports, act, attend seminary, sing, get involved in student government and other clubs, study hard in school. A real inspiration. 
7. Allison Marquitta Hawkins – My first love. My role model as a missionary. Writes letters better than anyone I know. A friend of mine just asked me if he could ask her out. I told him in so many words, "Allison Hawkins is the finest person I have ever met." So she is.
6. Lindsay Evans – My fashion consultant, my sharpest critic, my arch-nemesis, my confidant, my home away from home, the one I always miss.
5. Billy/Jenny/Andrew/Jacob/Katie Guest – Once again, it's hard to say which has had the most influence. 
Billy did all the right things as an eldest brother should do. He did seminary, he did sports, he got his Eagle Scout, he went to college, went on a mission, got married in the temple to wonderful Bekah, had kids. He did it all, and he did it in his own way, in his own time.
Jenny is hilarious. She refuses to admit she's wrong. She loves her family. She especially watches out for us brothers. Brought hilarious Tyler into our troop of brothers. Unafraid to call out nonsense when she sees it.
Andy wins in the sibling category. He shared a room with me for 8 tumultuous years. My fiercest competitor. My best friend. Because of Andy, all my interactions with other human beings are never difficult nor surprising, merely review.
Jacob… destined for great things. Comes as close to perfection as a 16-year-old can get. 
Katie, the anchor in our relay race of "alpha children." Always softens my heart. Little sisters are the best.
4. Joseph Smith – "Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose [the] book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men." – John Taylor
3/2. Bill and Sue Guest – Two fine people. Taught me to pray. Taught me to work. Taught me to play. Taught me to put family first. Taught me the need to get an education. Taught me the gospel. Taught me to be well-rounded. Taught me the scriptures. Taught me to do what was right. Taught me not to hit. Taught me not to make fun of others. Taught me to love my enemies. Taught me to turn the other cheek. Taught me to reach out to those who are shy or lonely. Taught me to be a gentleman. Taught me to appreciate the stars, nature, inspiring literature, classic movies, fine music. Taught me to be smart with money. Taught me how to serve others. Taught me respect for my spouse. Taught me sacrifice. Taught me priorities. Taught me responsibility and accountability. Taught me perseverance, commitment, endurance. Taught me faith. Encouraged, supported, and coached me through so many activities. I love them more than I have time to tell them or to type publicly. The best people I know.
1. Jesus Christ – Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. He has borne my griefs, carried my sorrows, was wounded for my transgressions, was bruised for my iniquities. The chastisement of my peace was upon him; and with his stripes I am healed. Because he lives, I shall live with all those wonderful people I love. Perfect.

  1. I love this post. And not just number…7 was it? Or 8. See, I can’t even remember. I love it all.

  2. Ahh, what a sweet post from the “gentle soul” and peacemaker of our family. It, of course, brought tears to my eyes. I love you!!

  3. This contains the perfect balance between humor and serious effort/thought. You are freaking Josh Guest.

  4. Gene Kelly and the Schreiners would definitely make my list any day, too.

  5. Dearest most darling Josh whom I adore, I never realized the shoutout column on the right of the page until just now and I was pleased to find my own name among it, but I was distraught you think I could never love you, and then I was relieved you linked a post to the I love Josh Guest… but there’s nothing in the post that declares my love for you- I think you linked the wrong link (that makes me think of sausage)And furthermore I ran into our little figure skater prima donna today- she wants a copy of your story about the harness.Much love,Natalie (I’d write Nat, but then I run the risk of being confused with your roommate, who’s name is my common name, but for the sake of this post I’ll call myself Natalie)

  6. Whhhhhhhhhaaaaaat?????? I don’t have my own number. Such is life. Love ya, bro!

  7. My favorite post. This is so great.

  8. Josh, why are more of us not translated?

  9. hey josh , i had this weird dream but what would you do if you had to pay 5 dollars to the state just to have a conversation with a friend or anybody in person… ?

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