What if?

What if I had never met that particular person?

What if that particular event had not happened in my life?

What if I had not lost that particular person at that particular time?

Clearly, I cannot fathom how the details of my life would have unfolded had these three things not occurred. But I do know this. I know that if I had never met that special person, I would not be writing these lines now. And I know that without that particular event in my life, I would not have changed for the better. I would also not have found my calling, had I not lost that special person.

It is endlessly fascinating to ponder what other lives I could have lived and could potentially live, depending on all the events that happened and decisions I could have made in the past and those that are ahead of me.

In every moment of our existence we make decisions. Some are very minor – such as deciding what to have for breakfast or what to wear – while others affect our lives profoundly – such as the decision which school to attend or which career to pursue. And even those big decisions sometimes feel more like destiny and less like conscious choices when we look back. It may all start with one event and many major changes in our lives may build on that one decision.

What, then, about all the other lives we could have created if we had made a different choice at some point in our past? Each of us would then, so to say, have countless lives to live, each unique in its own fashion. Yet, we can never visit these lives and find out.

But what if? What if we could access this multitude of possible lives and visit other timelines where we made different choices at crucial points in our lives? It sounds like an exciting idea. We could find out if our past decisions were good or whether we could have done better. We could also see whether and how our past choices influenced the lives of others.

And would that be enough? Would we be content to merely be spectators in these timelines? Would we not want to interfere and change our present? Probably yes. But the consequences would be dire because we would not only alter our own fates. We would inevitably change the present and future lives of countless others.

So, it seems everything is as is should be. We can only ever live one life and must try to make sure we make it the best we can – for ourselves and for others.

© language life