Saturday, September 28, 2019

The Mirror: breaking chains

You once made a poor choice which had long lasting and widespread consequences for you and those you love. Let's be honest, most of us have done this multiple times. You have the means to travel back in time to change that decision. Do you?

It's a classic hypothetical question. Time travel, as far as we know, is not possible. It is however the subject of countless films, television shows and novels. It is even a recurring theme in love songs. Recently I watched Back to the Future for the umpteenth time. I've previously written about Time Travelers on Netflix. Today I watched an episode of Dark Matter. Same subject: time travel. Science fiction series always have time travel episodes. It's fascinating and mind blowing stuff, but it's fictional. Purely speculative.

Why is time travel such a rich vein to mine for stories? What makes it such a popular theme? 

We all have regrets. At some point in our lives, we've all said those fateful words, 'If only...' Even though we cannot change the past, we still obsess about it. It's very human to think this way, but it isn't very helpful. As the writers of science fiction clearly explain, any change to a single event in the past would automatically impact on many other events. The ripple effect is a slave to the laws of physics. Time is not exempt. We can't selectively change the past, but even if we could, would we really want to?

The answer depends entirely on how you feel about yourself. The fact is the person you are now is primarily the cumulative result of your experiences. You have been shaped by what has happened to you. If you can accept that, you can break the chains and find peace and move forward. If not, you're in big trouble because you can't undo what has been done and the burden of history is far to heavy a load for anyone to carry.

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