Monday, February 28, 2011

Time Traveling

I watched the Time Traveler’s Wife last night and it was quite moving. I used to always dream about time traveling and visiting other eras as I love history and find it quite intriguing to look into Ancient Civilizations and ‘Earth Times’ like the Jurassic period. But I never thought of visiting my own life; going back and forth between certain stages on my life’s timeline. People are so interested in time travel that they have theories, books and movies, even cartoons, about it.
The idea of visiting special moments in my life would be appealing but revisiting sad moments where I lost someone dear to me would be agonizing. Imagine having to go through the pain several times in your life span. I know that they say “Whatever does not kill you, only makes you stronger” but still this is one thing that I would not want to experience again. Now if I had the power to change something, then that would be different… but wouldn’t that affect EVERYTHING else? It would be like a domino effect, wouldn’t it? You change one thing of the past, you change the future. However, if we had the power to do that wouldn’t it be great to change so much of the wars, occupation and hatred in History?
Another thing that I found quite sad in the movie was the idea that the main character was able to watch his own death. Now, why would I like to witness my own death before it actually happened? The main character kept going back to the scene where he died. Reliving such moments many times over would be agonizing unless of course I was able to visit my loved ones after I die to comfort them… but thinking about it now, would I really be comforting them or would I be opening old wounds?
This makes me wonder about the so many people out there who live their life in their past instead of looking towards the future and the horizon. I can understand that there are so many aspect of an “old life” that might be fun to experience for a second and third time but time moves forward and we just cannot keep back peddling or looking backwards. We should try not to look back too much at the people we lost or dream about the time we were with them, because we have not really lost them… they live in us and through us and the best thing we could do is show them that they meant a great deal to us by the way we live our lives.
We need to be looking to the future ahead of us and dream about what we can accomplish in this life, think about what we desire and plan how to obtain it. We need to think about how we can grow as individuals and affect the people around us, how to make a difference no matter how small it is.
 However, the most important stage in life is the PRESENT. We need to cherish each moment we have with our loved ones, ourselves and our pets (if we had some)… This is an advice that I need to live by as well as I spend my time thinking too much about the future that I forget my present. My husband always reminds me that I need to live my day as if it was the last day of my life… that is wise… maybe I should start with one minute a day and stop worrying about tomorrow.
Ok… so what about travelling back to correct our mistakes? If we had a time machine that could take us back in time to correct whichever mistake we made in life then wouldn't that be cool? However,  we would not become responsible individuals in the future. I mean, we would rely on the fact that we can travel back and fix the hurt we dished out to our loved ones to improve our Karma in the future. But that is not how life works. We always need to be careful about what we throw into this world and remember that whatever we put out there will come back to us… life is like a circle, isn’t it?
I remember telling some students of mine, who were bullying and calling each other names back in my days in Africa,  a story about a little boy who was angry and had a habit of saying things that he would regret afterwards. His father asked him to hammer a nail into a piece of wood every time he said or did anything that hurt someone. After the piece of wood was full of nails, the father asked his son to remove every single nail. The boy was confused and did not quite understand the purpose of the exercise but did as his father had asked. Later, his father asked him to look at the wood and notice the holes in it. He told him that every time he said or did something that hurt anyone it left a scar no matter how sorry he said he was afterwards or how guilty he felt.

So there you go... let us strive to live in the present, plan for the future and just be plain happy...

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