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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Alternate Realities

Alternate Realities

It always interests me when I watch a movie with alternate realities. You know the ones. I think the classic and best example is Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life starring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey. My child bride Suzanne and I love to watch this movie.

In this movie, George goes through a typical boring life in a typical boring town in a typical boring job that is anything but what he had planned for himself. When he graduated high school, he had plans to see the world and then go to college and be an engineer. George’s father dies, leaving him to run the family business. George pretty much lives a same-o same-o life through the years thinking life is passing him by. One day, Clarence the Angel gives George a chance to see what the world would be like without him.

The other day Suzanne and I watched a movie called Family Thanksgiving. In this movie a woman is a workaholic lawyer who has only success on her mind. The thought of a husband and family is completely out of the question. One day, a fairy/angel whatever sends her into an alternate reality where she is a soccer mom and housewife. She gets to see what could have happened if she had made some different choices. She liked the new reality and does not want to leave.

Movies like this always make me think, “what if”. In the move Final Countdown, the U.S.S. aircraft carrier Nimitz goes back to the days just before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. If the Nimitz were to fight a war against World War II era planes and ships, it would be able to fend off any attack. The people on the ship discuss the “Classic Paradox of Time.” Basically, if I go back in time and meet my grandfather before he marries and has children and he and I fight and I kill him, then how could I be born? If I am never born, then how could I go back in time and kill my grandfather? Or, like in Back to the Future when Marty McFly goes back in time and his mother is after him instead of his father. If his father and his mother never get together then he could never be born. In this movie, things do change a little bit. Marty’s father punches Biff the bully and things change for the better.

Life is full of questions of “What if”. If I had invested $1,000 in MicroSoft when I first heard of them in 1987, that $1,000 would be worth $122,762 today. This is a fairly decent chunk of change. The thing is, back then, I had the money. I could have invested IF I knew then what I know now.

If I could go back in time to when I was twelve years old and I knew then what I know now, I would have practically no complications from diabetes, if I had diabetes at all now. With what I know now, I could have cured me of what I have now. All I had to do is eat raw vegetables.

The other day I read in Reader’s Digest about a new drug that would help with this diabetic nerve pain I have. In bold letters it warns of an increase in the possibility of suicide or suicidal thoughts. It warns of a ton of side effects. It also says that if I want to father a child I should tell my doctor. Now, at age 48 I have no plans to father a child, but this tells me that first, I know why these people want to commit suicide. Also, if it is going to affect me in all the ways it says, I am better off with the serious diabetic nerve pain. But, I could have avoided all of this if I knew then what I know now.

If I could go back in time, I could have avoided saying all the stupid things I have said to Suzanne. The problem is I probably would have said other things that are just as stupid.

But life doesn’t give us any “Take backs” or “Do Overs”. Like the song The Dance sung by Garth Brooks said, I could have missed the pain but I’d have had to miss the dance.

But, if given a do over, I would have saved more money. I would have studied harder. I would have taken business instead of media arts the first go round. I would have spent more quality time with Suzanne. We would have been together in high school. I would have avoided a big mistake I made on March 14, 1997.

If I could write a letter to me…

We can’t go back in time, but we can start living our lives a little bit differently. We can eat healthier and exercise more. We can treat those we love better. We can say the “I am sorry” that we missed saying. Ask yourself, if you could go back to a particular time in your life and have a “Do over’, what time would that be? If you could go back in time and you knew everything you know right now, what would you do differently?

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