Welcome to the very first “What if Wednesday”! Let’s let our imaginations run wild….
Imagine that 10 minutes from now, you will leap into the past or future.
The rules are:
- You cannot opt out.
- You depart from the present year in exactly 10 minutes.
- You may choose your destination year. It must be more than 100 years prior to or following the present. For example, if you are reading this in 2017, you must EITHER go back in time to any year prior to 1917, OR go forwards in time to a year after 2117.
- This is a one-way trip. You will STAY in whatever year you pick for the rest of your life. Choose wisely!
- You may be fully dressed, and you may bring 3 easily-carried, small items with you.
- You cannot bring any person or animal with you.
- When you arrive in your destination year, you will land unscathed in the exact geographic location that you are currently in right now.
I was thinking about this last night and became fascinated.
My initial thought is: how crazy would this be? First, 10 minutes is an awfully short time to digest this news, not to mention also make major decisions, like what year to permanently go to. I would be filled with all kinds of emotions, and it would be sad to not have time to say proper goodbyes.
The task of choosing what year to end up in FOREVER is an intimidating one. Compared to the unknowns of the future, the past is less uncertain, and may seem appealing initially.
No social media distraction? Less pollution and processed foods to gunk up our bodies? A simple, quiet life?
But upon further thought, I’d realize that I wouldn’t want to go back in time. First, I am a woman of color who appreciates rights like suffrage and freedom. Second, not only am I a woman of color, but I’m also mixed race – African and Asian – which I’m guessing might ostracize me from every community, depending on the time period? (historians, feel free to chime in!). Third, I am way too accustomed to modern conveniences to willingly say goodbye to technologies like cars, electricity, and the internet.
I could go on, but the main point is that I will be going forward, not backward, in time.
The question then becomes: how far into the future would I go? Leaping 100+ years into the future invariably means traveling to a time when everyone I have ever loved, everyone I have ever known, is long dead. That would be an extremely difficult future to enter. Let’s just hope that some fringe research group will develop a way to significantly slow aging, so that when I arrive in the future, all my loved ones still will be alive and kicking! (Ok, so I know this would introduce all kinds of overpopulation issues, but let’s just deal with one thing a time – I’ve only got 10 minutes and the clock is ticking!)
So what year would I choose? I probably wouldn’t want to go too far into the future, like the year 720,639,821,335,024… I mean, if I leap this far, I might find myself on a post-human, mars-like version of earth, where only city ruins and fossils remain.
I think I’ll stick closer to the “near” future, and jump to the nearest possible year, 2118. Maybe in the next few generations, we’ll have figured out the renewable energy situation, and put an end to things like hunger, cancer, racism, poverty, etc… or I guess we’ll find out.
Now, what to take with me to 2118? Only 3 small-ish items allowed. I won’t take my phone, as I’d have to also bring my charger (a second item), and both are likely to be obsolete by 2118. Will people even use cell towers or wall-sockets for electricity in the future? Hmm. Better stick with items that don’t depend on present technology. Hmm.
What about a bag of money? Surely money will stand the test of time? But even if I had a pile the cash on hand at this moment, I’m guessing that with inflation and God knows what else, it likely wouldn’t be worth very much in a hundred years. Plus, will we still be using cash for currency by then? Who knows, maybe the future is a bitcoin society. To avoid the possibility of a worthless-old-timey-money situation, let’s leave the cash in the present.
Ok, I got it. (1) My journal, to write down all my thoughts. (2) A pen, with which to write said thoughts. And (3) a photo album, to remember my former life by. Well, that is, if I had physical photos and not just digital versions. Since I don’t have prints and or any time to do anything about that, I would probably grab the framed photograph of Joel and me from our wedding day that is hanging in our living room. So my 3 things are: a pen, my journal, and a photograph.
And with my remaining moments in the present, I would hug Joel tightly, and tell him that will love him forever.
What about you? What year would you choose for your destination, and what 3 things would you take with you?
#whatifwednesday #whatifwed #wif