Why would a successful, accomplished person want to trade places (even for a day) with someone else? Seeking answers to this question, Oyster Pointer invited readers to take our survey. We found that people would consider this swapping-lives fantasy for several reasons: to focus on empowering and being powerful; to step into someone else’s shoes to increase empathy and awareness; to just have fun (call it an escape); to be someone near and dear to the Oyster Pointer family; and to do good for others. One respondent wouldn’t trade at all.
Barbara Passmore, Branch Ops at TowneBank’s Oyster Point office, focused on empowering others.
“If I could swap lives, it would be Oprah Winfrey,” she says. “Just [to spend] one day in her shoes to inspire, empower and uplift so many. [She is] a great example to the whole world. While I know that no one’s life is perfect, she has shown herself to be a great inspiration.”
Some respondents wanted to see things through another’s eyes.
“I have two amazing daughters that my beautiful wife and I adopted,” says John Kennedy, general manager, Art Newsome, Inc. “Four-year-old Harper came to us when she was 47 days old. Olivia, now 10, came to us at 16 months. They are my reason to get up every morning and be thankful for the life I have. I worry all the time if they are having a great life and are happy. So, I would choose to be each of them for 12 hours. This would give me the opportunity to see life through their eyes and reassure myself they are happy and feel loved—beyond just having a handsome and super cool dad!”
Brian Cole, owner of Personal Training Associates, echoes Kennedy’s sentiments, but in a broader way.
“[I would be] someone with fewer natural advantages,” he says. “I was born in this free country, had no racial or religious prejudices against me, with loving parents and good health. I’m sure that one day otherwise would make me appreciate the rest of my life even more.”
Sister David Ann Niski, executive director of Bernardine Franciscan Sisters Foundation, agrees.
“I would like to be an investigative, international reporter on assignment to a remote, rarely visited part of a country or continent,” she says. “I [would] have been sent to investigate and report on an unusual occurrence, event, custom [or] style of life. This would afford me the opportunity to experience new and uniquely different environs, people, culture [and] way of life. I would like to do this for the encounter, the new learning and the opportunity to share something exciting, different, eye-opening and awe-inspiring—something others might never have the opportunity to actually experience.”
Other respondents want to be Sylvia Weinstein, our editor.
“I would be Sylvia, especially because of her wild and romantic love life with her sweet Bill!!” says Lisa Marie Samaha, DDS of Port Warwick Dental Arts. “And because, her joy is not only pure; it is pervasive and contagious!”
Sharon Martin, vice president and private banker with Old Point National Bank, shares Samaha’s sentiment.
“I would choose to be Sylvia! Sylvia is in the positivity business. The articles in Oyster Pointer are valuable, uplifting and feature great things in City Center. After time spent with her, I’ve always left feeling as though I was the most important person to her at the moment. The love she exhibits and the twinkle in her eye when talking about her dear, sweet “Bill” are heartwarming. The stories she writes about her travel adventures make me feel as though I’m right there with her.”
Three respondents just wanted to have fun—something less serious than their chosen career.
“Axl Rose from Guns N’ Roses,” says Dr. Timothy A. Queen,
otolaryngologist and allergist of Advanced ENT & Allergy. “It would be a blast to be a rock star for a day.”
In the same vein, Beth Moore, president and managing member of Beth Moore & Associates, CPAs, would swap places with race car driver, Danica Patrick.
“Danica is brave, drives fast and competed successfully in a sport dominated by tough, confident men,” Moore says. ”Danica became the only woman to win an Indy Car Series race—in 2008 in Japan—and the highest Indy 500 female finisher in history in 2009, placing third. She took a bigger risk by moving to the even more male-dominated world of NASCAR, becoming the first woman to win a NASCAR Cup Series pole. She retired this year with the most top 10 Cup Series finishes for a female in history. I would switch places with Danica in a heartbeat. But then, maybe I don’t have to. We are both doing the same thing in our own careers—hers as a race car driver and me as a CPA partner/owner of a successful CPA firm.”
And Jayne DiVincenzo, president of Lions Bridge Financial, would like to swap places for a day with business magnate, investor, engineer and product architect of Tesla, Inc. “I’d definitely want to be Elon Musk for a day. Musk cares deeply about humankind and has a drive and passion rarely seen in human history,” says DiVincenzo.
Now Tommy Meehan, president/owner of C.D. West & Company Real Estate, apparently loves life as himself.
“After a great deal of pondering, my conclusion may not be the typical response expected,” he says. “While an obvious selection might be a titan of business and charity, like Warren Buffett or Bill Gates; an orator; a philosopher; an author; a political leader; a friend; a relative or even a pet, my decision is none of these. In spite of the “Greener Grass” principal, we all realize that public personae don’t always tell the full story. There exist numerous risks in business, finance, health, family relationships, etc. In my case, I have good health, a wonderful family, an enjoyable business and a personal life with a predictable level of risk and reward. Therefore—with the hope that this response doesn’t sound somewhat arrogant—I am very comfortable with my situation in life and would not trade it with anyone, even for a day!”
Special thanks to our respondents. Quite a variety of opinions that should have us all thinking: “Who would I swap places with for a day and why?”