If Good Samaritan Sister, Meg Kahler, could invite any five guests to dinner, she’d choose Aung San Suu Kyi, Scholastica Gibbons, Roger Federer, Genghis Khan and Billy Connolly, reports The Good Oil.
“I have no idea what you’d cook for them or what you’d give them to drink. Possibly nothing,” laughs Meg. “But it would be a very interesting evening!”
Meg has great admiration for Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese democracy campaigner and politician who was detained under house arrest for many years. “I’m not sure of the ‘ins and outs’ of her politics, but there just seems to be a dignity and graciousness and resilience, an inner strength in the woman,” she explains.
Meg describes Scholastica Gibbons – the Irish Sister of Charity who helped to establish the Good Samaritan Sisters with Archbishop John Bede Polding in nineteenth century Australia – as a “remarkable woman”.
“I think she must have been someone quite similar [to Aung San Suu Kyi],” says Meg. “That resilience and inner strength, being able to find a way to get through things, because some parts of her life, I’m sure, must have been amazingly difficult.”
An avid follower of most sport, Meg says meeting world tennis champion, Roger Federer, “would be lovely”. She thinks he’s a “remarkable”, “intelligent” and “really interesting person” who “seems to be aware of what’s going on in the world and does good things on the quiet”.
So far Meg’s guests are logical choices; they’re admirable and altruistic people. So why invite the thirteenth century Mongolian warrior, Ghengis Khan, the man who killed around 40 million people in the process of building the world’s largest empire?
“I wonder what he would be like,” muses Meg. “Someone… so single-minded to the point of destruction, I don’t understand that. I don’t know how you can think that that’s alright.”
Meg says it would be fascinating to talk to someone like Genghis Khan, especially in the company of others who could counter his ruthlessness.
“Then I think you’d need some comic relief,” adds Meg. “Maybe Billy Connolly, just to throw in a completely different personality!”
The second eldest of four girls, Meg was born in Queensland’s Darling Downs. She spent her first eight years in Warwick before the family moved to Bundaberg, then to Rockhampton, finally settling in Brisbane. Meg describes herself as “a bit of a country bumpkin at heart” and admits her “itinerant” early years have been “very handy for religious life”.
FULL STORY Giving people choices (The Good Oil)