If You Could Change The Past

I’m reading a book about changing the past. This book is haunting me. So, I’ve begun thinking, what would I do if I could change the past? Of course you think of terrible human tragedy – things that someone could have done to avoid the senseless deaths of thousands or millions of people. But everything has a cause and an effect. Would changing one thing, change other things. What would the world look like? Would I like the end result? Here are the top 3 things I would change if I could go back in time.

Hitler
This is a no brainer. Millions were murdered. Millions more killed during the war. Perhaps the Japanese don’t bomb Pearl Harbor without knowing the Americans were focused on Europe. If there were a way to stop Hitler in the early 1930’s, I would certainly try to do something. Would anyone listen? But of course, what does that mean to the country we currently live in? Would America have become a superpower without WWII? Would we have emerged from the Great Depression? Would my parents have ever met without their families fleeing Europe? I don’t know. But they are small in comparison to the suffering that was caused by Hitler. I’d take my chances.

9/11
Again, senseless tragedy. Thousands killed for no reason. What could I have done to insure that the event didn’t happen? If I knew on September 10th what would happen the next day, would anyone believe me? I just know that living and working in New York on 9/11 changed everything. The country is different. In some ways worse. In some ways better. But I think stopping 9/11 would be my second task.

11/22/63
I would love to know what our country would be like if JFK was never assassinated. Would Bobby Kennedy have run for President in 1968 if his brother just completed two terms? Probably not. Would Martin Luther King have been assassinated? How many things are interconnected? Would we have pursued Kennedy’s passion for landing on the moon before the decade was finished if he wasn’t killed? Would we have pulled out of Viet Nam sooner? Would we have invaded Cuba again? What would the country look like if Camelot continued? Unfortunately, we’ll never know.

Of course, there are millions of decisions I would make differently in my personal life. Should I have made the trip to UCLA versus going to Temple University? Should I have stayed in St. Louis longer? Should I have bought that 2 bedroom, 2-bath apartment in NYC for $175,000 in 1989? But those decisions are in the past, and I don’t regret any of them. (I love my house in Westchester, so while it would have been a great investment, I don’t regret it.)

So, now it’s your turn. Please tell me – what event would you like to alter in history? Please post your answer in the comment section of the Word Press blog versus FACEBOOK or other areas.

Oh, one other thing – I’d also like to go back in time to meet my 4th grade English teacher – and ask her why I still can’t spell? Excuse the typos. I’m writing quickly today.

1.23.12

2 thoughts on “If You Could Change The Past

  1. Other assassinations that would have changed world history if they didn’t happen: Lincoln, Gandhi, Yitzhak Rabin, John Lennon. How would they have continued to impact the world if their lives were not cut short?

  2. This is a difficult question. With our limited understanding of this life and what comes before or after it, I don’t know if we can wisely answer this question. If we make one change in life, would that increase the likelihood that life would be better here? Perhaps, when people are taken away from us, they have more pressing matters somewhere else. I often wish that I could have some magic; if I touched someone of my hand, I could ease their suffering. But, I know that if I did, I would not begin to comprehend the consequences of my action. I believe that we come to this earth without memories and limited skills so that we can let life be what it needs to be…even if it hurts to watch.

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