‘The Steeple Times’ asks behaviour expert, consultant, writer and speaker Jon Levy: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
I want people to have lives full of childlike wonder and adventure. I want them to be in awe of what life has to offer and for them to be hungry for new experiences and new knowledge. Everything I do, seeks to inspire this in some way.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
It’s time for shenanigans, tomfoolery and ballyhoo!!!
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2015?
I will be honest, I don’t know who Kerry Katona is.
Donald Sterling is someone completely unacceptable. He was an outspoken racist who had no problem adding to his fortune by owning a professional basketball team comprised predominantly of people of colour.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Having my family close. My parents and siblings live in four different cities. I love having everyone visit but it doesn’t happen nearly often enough.
Alternately, naptime: I really wish adults had naptime. At about 3pm every day, I could really use a quick nap.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
I would trade all of my wealth for Bill Gates’ wealth.
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
How much time do you have? This may take a while…
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
“They say” followed by some random statement that the speaker believes should be accepted as fact. Who is the “they” in that sentence? I am not going to live my life based on some rumour mill of supposed facts. I will judge the validity of a claim based on the trustworthiness of the source.
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
It depends on what you consider “home”. I love the idea that we are a global community and extended family and so home is anywhere humanity steps foot. It is naive to think that problems that originate in other countries don’t have an effect on us.
I personally try to impact two major issues: Child sex trafficking and social equality (gender, race, sexual orientation, etc).
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
I love my mobile phone but would prefer not to be blown up by any device.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
This is an amusing question since twice a month I host a private dinner for some of the most influential people in our culture. It has become know as The Influencers Dinner and I have hosted almost 500 people ranging form members of royalty and Nobel Laureates to Olympic medalists and famous actors.
There is one person that I would want to hang out with that I haven’t had the pleasure of hosting yet and that is Stan Lee, founder of Marvel Comics. He inspired a generation to know that even though we may not fit in, we all have an ability to be appreciated and contribute to society.
Other than Stan, I really like traveling with my best fried Liam Alexander, a highly respected mixed medium collage artist, and my old friend Cart.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
A beef burrito with plenty of cheese, guacamole, veggies and too much sriracha. I would eat it in the place where I have the greatest chance of escape such as busy mall in the centre of a city or a marketplace.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
If you are on vacation, you can drink from the moment you wake up (assuming you actually ever went to sleep).
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
A martini without a doubt.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
Mine: I love being a host and bringing people together. The best part is there is no commute at the end of the night.
Who is the most positive person you know?
It would probably be the legendary Wharton professor and best selling author of Give and Take, Adam Grant. Adam’s good nature, positive attitude and character are second to none.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Cheese and superhero cartoons… But especially cheese.
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
My tattoo would be the little prince standing in the desert looking longingly to the stars. I feel like the prince searching for my love in the endless expanse of space, but for me it is not a rose on a planet far away but the limitless knowledge of the universe.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
I would be an Autobot from the Transformers series. Not only are they heroes but many of them are really cool cars.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I grew up with a difficult learning disability. I’m dyslexic. I was the last child in my class to learn to read, I still can’t spell well and I am a very slow reader. People think I’m kidding, because they equate dyslexia with a lack of intelligence but nothing could be further from the truth.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
I have a 6-litre bottle of champagne. Well-known Influencers Dinner guests sign it when they come and in a few months it will be part of a silent auction that will raise money for a good cause
New York based Jon Levy is behaviour expert, consultant, writer and speaker who is best known for the Influencers Dinner events he hosts. Guests have variously included such people as Internet entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and the actor Andre Royo and of them, Levy told The New York Times: “It’s about bringing extraordinary people together”.
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