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Allan's Philosophy Podcast

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Have You Ever Wondered… # 2 – If you could get a do over for your life would you take it?

Hey guys! If you didn’t hear, I started a new podcast which is called Allan’s Answers and I was joined by Tommy Wyderko, the new co-host for the Philosophy is Phun podcast. In the new show we discuss philosophical questions asked on yahoo answers. YOU should check it out! We also recorded the first episode in the now weekly Philosophy is Phun podcast but the screen recording software decided not to save the video so we need to do it over again in the near future. I’m still looking for good screen recording software so if anybody has any suggestions I would love to hear them.

Anyways, it has been a while since I have done a Wondered of Advice column post so I thought of something cool that I think you guys will enjoy. I pose the question “if you could change your life and do it over would you take that opportunity?” The first thing that I think should be discussed is about what things would you change if you could. I have been in too many situations to count where I look back and be like “Oh I really wish I had done something back then.” One common situation I find myself looking back on wishing I had done something different is in conversations where I think of some funny comeback only to be too late for the statement to be relevant at all. Another instance is with regrets. We all have regrets; it is just human to make mistakes. However, mistakes aren’t always equal and some can have major consequences. Sometimes we majorly screw up and you might want to go back and change it.

If you could though, you need to take into consideration is the multitude of “what if” questions that arise in almost every situation. What if’s are basically questions that help formulate possible outcomes and seeing what could possibly happen. Because they only speculate about things that aren’t definitive if might be a waste of time to try and think about them. Almost everything is a possibility so trying to speculate every single thing that could possibly happen would be completely unnecessary as well as probably impossible. Worrying about what would happen if you were to lose all your money all of a sudden is probably unlikely. Worrying about a pop quiz tomorrow that your mean teacher has been hinting at all weak however, might be a more pressing issue. When it comes to what if’s, priority is a major factor to take into consideration. If something is more likely to happen, then there is a greater chance pondering the what if’s may prove some use to you. The main point of what if’s are to give you some insight into the future and make you think about things to provide some preparation in case it actually happens. If you ask yourself “What if my teacher is going to give me a pop quiz tomorrow?” you will see the implications that the quiz will have on you and your grade and then you can judge if it is worth it to take a look over the material you just learned in class. Questions like “What if my house burns down?” are usually irrelevant but it can’t hurt to think about the precautions and actions you would take in case something as tragic as that were to happen.

What you are given with a chance to do over your life is basically a fresh start or a blank slate. The main thing I personally would want to know before I took the do over (if I would in the first place) would be if I would have my memories or not. Now I know some of you would say of course you would want your memories so you can know what not to do in case you made some mistakes in life. Through your mistakes made in your past experiences you learn how to improve. If you have already made the mistakes why go through life again only to redo them? To be fair, I feel like one reason you would not want to have your memories is because I wouldn’t want to relive everything that has happened to me knowing that I had already gone through it. I like to relate this to videogames and how when you play a game and beat it, you don’t want to go back and play it again. Nowadays games are adding new features so you can do something different to add to the replay ability but deep down I still feel like I have already done this and wouldn’t want to have to go through it again. If I were to do a do over I would only go into the past at the most a month. Think of something that has changed your life that happened like 5 years ago. Unless it impacted your life monumentally in a negative way, I wouldn’t want to have to go through and relive it all again even if I would be doing something different from the first go around. Even though I had a great time in my life, I would rather just keep moving forward and not have to endure everything again with the variations and changes I made going through a second time. Getting to do a do over does have some appealing aspects though like one cool thing about getting to start over is making a new identity for yourself and how you can live a brand new life. By doing it over again you get a chance to be someone new and nobody will judge you for what you were.

One of the biggest things that would prevent me from wanting to get another chance at living my life would be the fact that over time I have gotten comfortable with the life I currently live. I feel like generally people are very conservative when it comes to their lives. There are exceptions like with teenagers doing reckless and stupid things but I feel like they do it without knowing the full ramification of their actions and do it for the thrill and adrenaline rush such actions provide. One thing teenagers aren’t able to do well is assess risks and dangers and that’s why we usually do stupid things. Teenagers aren’t the only ones who do dangerous or reckless things though and these people are exceptions to the whole being conservative with your life thing. One of the biggest, if not the biggest priority we all have is survival and for some it is also being alive long enough to have kids to help populate future generations. By going through life we get comfortable with the life that we currently have and I know I would fear that something bad could go wrong with the modifications I make to my past actions. I wouldn’t want to risk the fact that by changing something I did when I was five could possibly mean that I wouldn’t be in the position that I am in today. While that may seem highly unlikely, the whole concept of the “future” deals with uncertainty because as far as we know of, nobody knows exactly what will happen. While there are people who can accurately predict future events based on a multitude of factors, nobody can be 100% correct of knowing the future. There are many seer’s and card tarot ladies who say they can read your future by looking at you palms but in cases like those I am very skeptical. As time progresses and I get comfortable, I would become too emotionally attached to the life that I am currently living. Another plus for not having memories when changing the past would be so you wouldn’t be reminded of the life you lived before. I would hate to have my actions change the lives of the people I love in a negative way and be haunted with how things were, knowing I made their lives worse than how they could have been or were before I went back in time. I would in a sense get time sick, missing my home in another time. How things were before I went back would probably be ingrained in my head regardless of what happened in my new life and if the changes didn’t make things better I would be so pissed at myself for going back in the first place and miss the way things were in the “good old days.”

Because of the uncertainty associated with changing the past, I would have to say I wouldn’t go back in time to change something that happened, in most cases. There are always situations where I would go back in a heartbeat like if my parents died and I could have prevented it. The biggest thing I am weary of when it comes to such time traveling is the butterfly effect and how my actions in the past have bigger implications than I could ever dream of. What if I wasn’t the only one who changed during my back in time period? It is crazy to think that every minor detail could mean the difference between life or death in the future or how you end up living? I saw this commercial, for AT&T I think, where they were showing the next president being inaugurated and it went back in time to when the parents of the future president met because some guy was able to switch his train to be on the one with this hot chick he saw who ended up being his wife. It is crazy to think about it but those minor details could be some of the major deciding factors in how our futures turn out. Because of this you always need to make sure you are doing things that will get you to a better life than where you are at now.

I think of going back in time as basically being given a second chance. Second chances are actually feasible and do happen at times but not always. They basically give you a chance to right the wrongs you may have made before without all hassle of time traveling. You aren’t always guaranteed as second chance however, so regardless of if you get the chance to change a minor detail that happened when you were five or not, you should always make the best effort in living your life and not make the mistakes in the first place. While it is inevitable to make mistakes, the least you could do is make an effort to prevent such mistakes whenever you can so you wouldn’t need a second chance in the first place. I feel like if we at least try to do this, we wouldn’t need to get a do over.

-Allan Nicholas

1 comment:

  1. I'm interested in Philosophy and like to watch/listen to your new podcast. Personally I use screen recorder Democreator to record desktop tutorial to show my client how stuff works, but I'm not sure it would meet your needs. If you only want to make a podcast (I mean with voice only), audacity will be a great choice. I record song with it.

    Looking forward to watching your new screencast/podcast!