Would you rather?

Go back to the past or to the future?

This is something that I have often pondered, on my many periods of introspection.

Logically, I should want to go far into the future, because I will never be able to experience it. At least I can read about the past, but the far future is a party that I am not invited to.

I am obsessed and fascinated by history. Not just the major historical events, but the way things were; the way people lived, the clothes they wore, the food they ate, the slangs they used, the morals they had (or didn’t have), and just the general vibe of the past. I love coming across newspaper/magazine articles from decades ago. I stare at them, intrigued by this period where I was nonexistent, periods were even my parents were not yet beings. Even better is when I come across clips shot many years ago; not even motion pictures, but little snippets of life back then. I want to enter them and experience them all, I want to live then and now and in the future too.

I do not necessarily wish to have been born in the twenties, I just want to have experienced them. I envision myself as a gust of wind, a ghostly figure, sweeping across the decades and centuries, seeing everything, immersing myself in it all but not getting swallowed by it. Simply put, I want to see how life was in the fifties but I don’t want to be a woman in the fifties.

I am incurably curious. What did people do for fun in the 1700s? Were people happy then? Did they laugh a lot? How would I have fitted in then? I see pictures from then and find it fascinating that all of these people once existed, and now all of them are dead, and one day all of us will be dead too.

The best time is now, with all the comforts and trappings of modern life. The future could be better or could be worse. The past has no washing machines or robot vacuum cleaners or tiny phones that double as cameras and everything else.

So would I rather go back or go forward? As much as I love the past, I would have to go a century into the future. I would like to see what we have made of the world, or at least what is left of it. Are we still fighting the same battles? What terror has replaced ISIS? What isms are we protesting? What country has replaced the USA as the most powerful nation? Has Mandarin replaced English as the global lingua franca? Have the robots defeated us and taken over? What animals have gone extinct? How do people in the future view us? Are we strange, primitive people to them? Is Apple still releasing iPhones? What do people do for fun? What fashion trends and beauty standards are in? Is it now fashionable for women to have no ribs? Has El Chapo escaped prison once again?

What’s it going be: past or future?


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