How many times have you regretted not doing something when you should have done something? Or saying something when you should have said nothing? Truth is, emotions, adrenaline, and hindsight make us feel situations would be so much better now if we just did this or stopped ourselves from doing that.
Jim Belushi starred in a movie, “Mr. Destiny,” where he played the role of a grown man who, as a high school kid, whiffed on the pitch that would have sent the school to the championships that season. As the movie progresses, Mr. Destiny, played by Michael Caine, gives him the option to change history. Belushi chooses the alternate destiny he would have had if he hit the ball and sent it into the bleachers that fateful night. He finds his life has changed dramatically; the first and most obvious change he notices is that he became famous for becoming the high school hero, found great opportunities post-high school, is rich, and has a garage full of expensive, classic cars. But his life is no longer what he knows, his wife, played by Linda Hamilton, is no longer his wife, his best friend, played by John Lovitz, is no longer his friend, and he’s become the enemy of the town via the company he owns and runs in a way akin to Scrooge of Dickens’ fame.
Granted, this was a Hollywood production who’s main motivation was to sell tickets and fill seats. The best way to accomplish box office success was to cater to the age-old moral-of-the-story idea that says, “Be careful what you wish for because you might just get it.” Or, “The grass is always greener on the other side,” or some other such nonsense.
The plain fact is, we can never know what would have happened, or what we think should have happened, had we made another choice or succeeded in an endeavor we didn’t, or spoken up when we held our tongues. There are theories which have been put forward that every possibility in life exists in its own universe. The trouble with that theory is there’s no way to ever know what may have happened, experience life in that “reality,” or even find proof one way or the other. I guess there are some advantages to the part of the scientific method which holds that a theory can never be proven, only dis-proven–when there is absolutely no way whatsoever to disprove it!
I wonder what Jim thinks?