David Letterman's top 10 lists were a fixture of my adulescence, along with the rest of Gen X/Y, but then top 10 lists are everywhere. In the U.S., it seems, listing and ranking borders on obsession. Scratch that. Lists are everywhere, of colleges, nutritious foods, box office at the movie theaters, download lists, page rankings, most watching television shows, top teams...you name the category, there's a top 10.
So why point this this list of Time Magazine most influential people of 2006?
Simply because it inspired me. There's a cultural bookmark here, to be fair, and each profile has a blurb written by celebrities, politicians and thinkers who themselves might be included on this list or those from years past. I'm cynical enough to doubt the authenticity of some of the prose, but I couldn't help but find hope in the face of extraordinary people making the most of the talent that nature and nurture bestowed upon them. Would that we could all do as much with the brief years we have on this earth.