Saturday, September 21, 2013

One free Do-over


In the grand scheme of things what would you do if you could have a do over, a new beginning, a life to live over?  What would you do different, would you turn right instead of left, go up instead of down, work longer hour or shorter hours, what would you really do if you had the chance to live your life again?

It would be like failing an important exam and having the teacher give you another chance to study and retake the test, using the old test as a guide to where you went wrong.  It is an interesting mental exercise.  As we think about our past decisions we are forced to evaluate their effectiveness grading them as success or failure, knowing with hindsight that a wrong decision put us on a path relegated to the appropriate consequence of that choice.

The beauty of hindsight is that it is perfectly clear, 20/20 vision they say, or is it?  When we look at the past what are we really seeing, what level of perception do we have to those events that brought us to the point of our present existence?  There is perhaps a reason for the homespun saying “learn from the past or be destined to repeat it…” which brings up an interesting dilemma in relation to our hypothetical desire to relive, or redo our life.  If we could jump back in time what would happen to our memories of the future, would they dissolve and vaporize with the erasure of time or would they stay with us allowing us to use those memories to sway the new future toward a better tomorrow?

Even assuming we retained our memories what good would they really be, especially in relation to the new reality that we have just created, negating perhaps those thoughts to the new options and choices that multiply exponentially with every new decision.  One move different to the left or right and the entire spectrum of choices change and the entire existence remembered would be forfeit, or so I think if one could actually attempt to relive that life.

The multi-verse theory postulates an unending stream of alternate realities that encompass any and all possible scenarios.  Whatever choice you think you could have made or will make another you will make creating an unending and ever expanding cycle of realities, but that is not our reality and in our reality we only have this one life, the one chance at each moment to make that choice, forever suffering or enjoying the consequences of that singular action.

There is no going back, no redo’s or mulligan’s, no gimmies, all we have is the now and now is all we’ll ever have.  We can look to the past for clues but clues are all we will be given to help us choose.  The problem is that the future is unknown, the parameters always changing; with nothing staying constant long enough to devise a system that will ensure 100% success for those future events.  So in essence we’re back to square one, living with the past decision that brought us to point of wanting a redo, but now we know that’s never going to happen.

The mental exercise is still valid however, with the understanding that we can learn from our mistakes, realizing that our perception of a “mistake” may change as we see the future unfold, also realizing that what we thought was a mistake was really a challenge, an opportunity toward that illusive scheme called perfection. 

Human nature dictates that hope reigns supreme and the desire for “smooth sailing” is innate to all who live.  Fortunatly life is unpredictable and the winds of change are impossible to foretell, leaving us with the only option available, to do the best with what we have, trying to weight the pro’s and con’s, but ultimately reacting to those gusts and billows with as much skill as possible trying desperately not to let our sales get overfilled, capsizing our lives completely.  Fortunatly because it is the unknown that allows us to thrive and grow, knowing that only through adversity will strength be achieved.   

It may be fortune that smiles on us but I have yet to see a fortune without toil or sacrifice and it is that balance of life that causes the most grief.  Lost jobs, new jobs, relationships issues, political upheaval, loneliness, death, sickness and the myriad other situational issues that seem to frown on our daily lives making us wonder when do the smiles come?