Today in lieu of my usual Wrist to Forehead Sunday, I offer a little half-baked philosophy which has been on my mind today.
A Facebook meme posed the question: if you could say something to your 20-year-old self, what would it be?
This is the kind of hypothetical question that gets on my nerves. YOU CAN’T SAY ANYTHING TO YOUR 20-YEAR-OLD SELF! That person no longer exists and we do not have access to time travel. The asker will say, “Yes, but what if you could?” YOU CAN’T! What is the point in talking about it?
That is not a rhetorical question; I seriously want to know what one can learn from such a question. You can’t go back and not make the same mistakes (see previous paragraph that we don’t have time travel). It is unlikely one will face the same problems one faced when one was 20 (one could argue that point, I suppose, but I think one would be full of beans if one did).
Perhaps the point is to articulate what one has learned since one was 20. One can thus feel wiser and not just older (now there’s a feeling I would like to experience). More likely, some folks just find it fun to talk about such things.
I personally do not like that sort of discussion. It is a short step from looking back to regretting past mistakes. I HATE regret. It is an almost completely useless emotion. I strive always to move on from here.
One final thought: If time travel ever becomes feasible and one can in fact say something to one’s 20-year-old self, I suggest you do not bother. I would submit that very few 20-year-olds ever listen to older and wiser advice. I know I never did.