Back to the Past


Everyone has imagined travelling back in time and reliving their childhood with their present memories – right? But the question is, would you actually do it if given the chance?

The rule is that you’d have to go back in time a significant way – no going back to last week just to pick the winning lottery numbers. You’d have to go back at least 10 years.

I thought about this and my immediate response was yes, I’d do this in a heartbeat. But then I started thinking about the downsides. The main two I could think of were having to relive some kind of hardship (like death of a family member or having to sit exams again at school) and missing people who were not in your life back then. Being away from your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend might be hard on you (the time traveller) but your other half wouldn’t even know you have gone. Imagine meeting them again for the first time when the time came! Maybe you’d even seek them out and meet them earlier, but that might change things.

Next is the question of what you would do if you went back in time. You’d have your present-day memories in your past body so you’d have to be careful not to be branded as crazy, although you could probably pull off being a child prodigy fairly easily. Instead of making massive amounts of money on the stock market, I would prefer to learn a sport, an instrument, and a second language while my physically younger brain is better able to learn. Those are the things that money can’t buy. Most of all I would try really hard to get myself into a better school. I really hated going to school, and it would mean a lot to not feel like those years were wasted.

Would it be irresponsible not to stop terrorist attacks or warn people about natural disasters? In every movie I’ve seen where someone goes back in time and tries to stop things, it never works. Imagine going through September 11th again knowing what is going to happen but being powerless to prevent it. Trying to prevent those things could consume your entire life and would probably land you in prison or a mental hospital.

Would you repeat mistakes or decisions that led to years of pain (like a failed marriage) or make the same mistakes because they brought you to a particular place in life? Would it even matter if you un-did aspects of your previous life since you’d keep the memories?

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