Friday, October 28, 2011

Backwards in Time

"There once was a lady named Bright
Who traveled much faster than light.
She left home one day
In a relative way
And returned the previous night!"

In recent news, we read that a team of Physicists in Geneva have measured neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light which, according to Einstein's 1905 special theory of relativity, is something that is just not supposed to happen.  

If I recall the mathematics correctly, when something moves faster than the speed of light in free space, time must run backward, as alluded to in the poem above, in order for the equations to balance. Given the mathematics of faster-than-light-speed travel, science fiction writers and dreamers such as I find ourselves musing over the the question "If I could go back in time and change something, would I, and what would I change?

One friend stated that he would go back to the very beginning and prevent Adam and Eve from eating the apple.  My response was that Adam would probably have invited him home to dinner where he'd eat what was put before him and even compliment Eve on the apple pie!

Others more qualified that I have dealt with the results of a Southern victory in the Late Unpleasantness, chronicling the subsequent breakup of this great nation into the United States, the Confederate States, the independent Republics of Texas and California, and the Greater Navajo Nation.  These speculations lead me to conclude that God causes history to flow in the right direction even if man fails to recognize it at the time.  Therefore, I must limit discussion to what I have lived, what has brought me to where I am, and decisions I have made.  

My bottom line is that I'm not sure I'm wise enough to want to change anything.

Suppose I had not met and married the girl of my dreams, but someone else that I knew?  Suppose we had not ever had that first date in 1962?  Suppose we had not had the second?  Life would be different.  I would not have four great children and eight (so far) absolutely exceptional grand children?

Suppose I had said "No" when asked if I could fly with Ziggy on 30 June 1972?  I would not have gotten shot, at least not that day.  However at least one other person has told me that some one with less experience (I had a bit over 300 hours in the front seat, and most of them with Ziggy) might not have able to help bring that shot up bird home and land it safely.  And Ziggy and Sue would not have three daughters.

Suppose I had not come to rest in Sterling 29 years ago? What then?  
Suppose I had not attended the job fair that resulted in my current job? 
Suppose I had not learned my work ethic on the farm? 

What then?  

I would be different and the world would be different.  How different and whether better or not I cannot know.  In the words of Sinatra, "Regrets, I've had a few, but then again, too few to mention." Given the opportunity, I would probably change little except to love more, to forgive more, and to enjoy this life that I have ever more fully every day.
Given the opportunity to change the past, would you? 

The past is prologue for the future.  Why not focus ahead and change the future?