I’ve been thinking a lot lately about taking a step back. Not so much in life, but time. I’ve considered the possibilities and problems caused by time travel. I’ve actually given it a considerable amount of thought. I believe I would like to travel in time, but only if the situations were right. At first, I thought that I would try to avoid all of the bullshit that the guy from Quantum Leap had to deal with, not being able to get back to his own time. Then I realized that the ripple effect would destroy my own time, so I would be forced to live with whatever the new situation was. That being the case, I have to wonder what I would change? Obviously, I’m not going to risk my life traveling in time just for the hell of it. Every detail of the past would clearly create some new reality going forward. So many people have impacted the world, surely something could be changed to make the world a better place.
I’ve considered the route of time assassin. Perhaps take out Hitler during his pre-nazi days, or perhaps obliterate Saddam Hussien’s father, thus preventing an era of pain for the Iraqi people. Unfortunately, the more I’ve considered these things, the more I’ve discovered that the results could be quite catastrophic. If I had eliminated Hitler, for example, Germany would have been obliterated. Ruined by poverty, the German people would have starved. It’s really unfortunate that Hitler lost his fucking grip on reality. The man was a brilliant orator, and the Germans would have marched with him into Hell if he’d asked. I guess, in a way, they did. He had a grand plan for Germany that pulled their economy out of the shitter by creating the largest public works projects in the history of the country. People went back to work, fed their families, and built architectural marvels. The “New Germany” was to be the largest collective of engineering feats the world had ever beheld. Had he not lost his mind, he probably would have gone down in the books as the greatest leader of all time instead of the worst villain the earth has seen. No, killing Hitler would not be a good idea. Even trying to reason with the bullheaded bastard would be impossible. Men like Hitler can’t be reasoned with. They are great, determined, nearly unstoppable machines. Their ideals are etched permanently into the fiber of their being. At the same time, I believe if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. So I’ll leave Hitler alone. Who else could we use to fix the world? The same would be likely for any event of world altering magnitude. That leads me back to the lives of myself, and those around me.
What would I change in my own life, and what would the ripple destroy that I could never get back? I’ve often said that if I could go back, I’d pay more attention in high school. I’d work harder at getting good grades. Maybe spend less time drinking, and more time studying. I have an idea what even that would do. It goes like this: I’d bust my ass to get straight A’s. Maybe graduate at the head of my class instead of 44th. Maybe pick up a scholarship that would let me go to a great school. Get a great job after graduation, and be very successful. At what cost? Graduating 44th of 88 doesn’t land you a scholarship. You don’t get into a great school. You go to State, and take whatever closest resembles something you’d like to do. You get bored. You move out of your home state to find a better job. You meet a girl. You become a husband. You become a dad to three incredible kids. You find yourself struggling through the days, but find that the struggles are generally worth the effort. Life happens. I’ve decided not to interfere with time. If I could go back, as much as I used to think I’d try to make the world a better place, I believe I’d just watch as events happened. I’d just be a guy in the background when time took it’s snapshots of the world. Yep, if I had a time machine, all I’d use it for would be to photobomb the fuck out of history.
How about you? what would you change? What would it cost you?