This week, Fandango presents us with another question, this one a bit more personal:
Would you be willing to give up everything you have if you could go back and start your life all over again? Why or why not?
What’s interesting is the way the question is phrased. He could have just asked “would you start your life all over again if given the chance?” But nope, he puts “Would you be willing to give up everything you have” at the beginning. And yes, giving up everything is pretty much implied if you decide to restart your life, but I’m not sure if people actually think about such an implication, hence why Fandango probably decided to make it explicit. As a result, when trying to answer this question you end-up revealing quite a bit. I mean, doesn’t it say a lot if one is willing to give-up all their achievements and relationships just to start over? Just to experience a first kiss again, or correct a business decision. Basically, would you be willing to sacrifice your life, and the lives of everyone else, just so you could have a “redo”?
Nice try, Fandango. See, he’s trying to make the whole thing more complicated by throwing in that quandary. But let me tell you something, I don’t give a fudge about anything. You could even say I’m the master of not giving a fudge. See, you know that song by LCD Soundsystem, “All My Friends” where he sings that he wouldn’t take away one mistake for another 5 years of life? Well, I would. I don’t care. Fandango tried making this question tougher than it is, but guess what? I didn’t even have to think about this for one second. Nope. I am totally, 100% willing to give up everything to redo my life.
That is if I remember everything from my current life. I don’t want to be going into my new life blind. Because if I redo my life with the knowledge I have I would totally kick ass. Invest in the right companies. Say the right things to the right people. Become ultra-rich by the time I’m 17 and live the shit out of my new life. I mean, yeah, I basically erased the lives of everyone else in the process, but maybe by me becoming rich everyone is better off. Right? Yeah, maybe some guy down the street never sees the love of his life as a consequence of me buying Amazon (man, chaos theory kicks ass, doesn’t it?) but love is overrated anyway.
Then again, what if I don’t remember anything? Then…well…it’s kind of like that idea of Eternal Recurrence. You know, from Nietzsche. Basically, it’s a thought experiment where a demon forces you to relive your life exactly the way you did previously. For some this would be a curse, but for others a blessing, depending on your outlook and how you lived your life. At least, I think that’s what Eternal Recurrence is. I don’t remember, and I don’t do research for anything I write.
If that’s the case though, I don’t know if I would. The question really becomes something else. It’s really about whether or not you lived life to the fullest. And, well, at least so far, I don’t think I’ve had. Instead of learning new skills or going out into the world, I’ve drifted along on autopilot, out of either fear or complacency. And I think that’s the case for most people. Maybe that’s one of the fundamental differences between the average person, and a “great one.” When Magnus Carlsen was 22, he won the world chess championship. When I was 22, I, well…in college? I mean, I mostly had a good experience and met some great people…I don’t really remember a whole lot. And maybe I’m being too dismissive. After all, you don’t need to be the world’s greatest at anything in order to have a good, meaningful life. But I sometimes wonder if I had potential for something and never fulfilled them. Or had opportunities to experience life to the fullest, and shirked them. A mediocre life.
If I redid my life, would I just end-up making the same decisions? Probably. It’s like what Matthew McConaughey said, “time is a flat circle.” The same things keep occurring throughout history because people keep making the same decisions, keep living the same lives as their ancestors (OK, sometimes they don’t have much of a choice,) without much dimensionality. I mean, that’s an oversimplification of, well, everything. But, you understand what I’m going for: people kind of just float along through life, and I’m not the exception.
So, would I be willing to restart everything if there was just a slight chance that things might occur differently, hopefully for the better? Meh. Probably not. I mean, so far my life is alright, but I feel like I have the opportunity to make things better. But am I going to?
However, if I had knowledge of my previous life? At first I said yes, but well…now I’m thinking about that song lyric: I think the reason why he wouldn’t take away his past mistakes is because those were his mistakes. They were what made him the person he is now, and he would much rather own up to that than “start over.” But what about me? I mean, I have no choice but to own up to the dumb shit I’ve done, and to the things I never did. However, if given the choice? I don’t know. Because if I relived my life, even with knowledge from my previous life, wouldn’t I become a different person? Would the people around me no longer be the ones I loved? I would still love them, but something would be lost. I would be lost, even if what I am now is “better.”
Hm…but other than that the question is simple really. It’s just ourselves that are fucked up. Well, myself actually. I don’t want to throw humanity under the bus just because I’m struggling with this prompt…actually, fuck Nietzche, fuck Matthew McConaughey. The answer is yes, I would destroy everything so I could start over. Why? Because I want to be Jeff Bezos. With that kind of money you don’t have to worry about anything. Yep. That is all.