Road diverged

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.
– T. S. Elliot

Is it wrong that this reminds me of a lesson learned in a comic book? The heroine spends 4 issues worried about going too far and hurting people. It wasn’t until she let loose at the end that she realizes that she had control all along.

Yes, I also realized I haven’t been adding haiku every day. Some days, the quote is just to short for me to put it into longer form. I’ll figure something out.

So this is one of the many lessons that I know with my head but not with my heart. I know it, but I feel it strongly enough to practice it. It’s silly and irrational, I know.

I like to be grounded. I like to be safe and secure. I know it means passing up on certain things. I know it means missing certain opportunities. I try not to have regrets.

There is a meme going around that asks if you would rather go back to when you were six years old with all your present knowledge or be given $10 million.

I’ll take the cash please and here’s why.

First, I don’t remember enough dates to really take advantage of it. Sure I could probably set myself up better off knowing to invest in Microsoft and Apple, especially when Apple was below $10 in the 90’s. But I don’t know if I could capitalize on all the biggest booms without messing things up.

Which is my second point, for any of my historical knowledge to be valuable, I couldn’t do anything to change the future. In fact, I could make things worse.

For example, a friend with this same question said he would go in and become friends with Mark Zuckerberg before he founded Facebook. But what if that friendship disrupts the group dynamic early enough and Facebook is never founded?

Tiny changes or big changes could have drastically different results and not always for the better. What if you stop the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and that turns up the time table and causes 9/11 two years earlier?

So I would be afraid of any actions that might make things worse. I would be constantly calculating and overthinking possibility after possibility. If I went back to age 6 with all my current knowledge, I would be committed to a mental institution by age 7.

So again, I’ll take the cash please.

Again, taking the safe road that I know where it leads rather than risking for something better out of fear it will be worse.