Re-evaluating time travel

By  Stephanie Buosi, Youth Speak News
  • May 19, 2009
Long ago, a friend asked me if I would ever want the ability to time travel. At the time, I  eagerly responded “yes.” I could only envision the many great advantages, going back to erase all those embarrassing moments, take risks I was too scared to take and refuse other actions that did nothing to benefit my life. I could remove any harmful words that escaped my lips or offer advice that I didn’t have at the time.

It wasn’t until much later that I recalled my answer and re-evaluated my hasty decision. Although the thought of erasing past mistakes seemed appealing, I began to question if this was wise. Did I truly want to alter part of my life?

History as we know, is like a spider’s web. If one strand were to be destroyed it would cause a great hole in this web. Our lives are all connected to one another. As we live, we affect the lives of others positively or negatively. It is impossible to avoid this, unless we prefer solitude to the company of others.

While thinking about this, I was reminded of a story my high school chaplain once shared. A student had stopped to help a fellow student, whom he barely knew, to carry his many belongings home from school. Some time later the same boy approached the student and thanked him for saving his life. Puzzled, the student asked how he did this. The boy replied that on that very day the student helped him, he was planning to commit suicide that night. He took the other student’s help as a sign from God not to kill himself — that there were still people who cared.

I then understood that even the most insignificant events in our lives may seem small to us, but could have a major impact upon the life of another.

I realized that by changing events in my life, I would also change the life and history of others. Yes there are blemishes and imperfections in the past, but each helped to shape our world today. A mistake can lead to a good if one learns from the experience and seeks to do better.

Our past actions determine the kind of person we are now. If I had not made mistakes, I would not have learned from them and developed the opinions and values I hold today.

For example, by learning about the different cultures of our world through a World History and Religion class, this helped me to stop judging others so quickly. While I have experienced being deliberately excluded in the past, and having felt the shame and loneliness of the experience, I now try to accept others so they might not have a similar experience.

I am proud of the person I am today. I am happy with the knowledge and values I know and live by. If my life had been any different, then I know that my present situation would also change and I would hate this.

Therefore, if someone else were to come up to me and ask the very same question once again, I know how I would answer. “Why?”

(Buosi, 17, is a Grade 12 student at St. Augustine Catholic High School in Brampton, Ont.)

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