Back in Time

If you could go back in TIME and kill Hitler, would you? How about Stalin? Jack the Ripper? John Wayne Gacey? Ted Bundy? Pol Pot? Or any other maniac in history?

Is life fated? Could one go back and change a significant event in history and not upset the whole planet?

If I went back to September 10th 2001 and prevented 9/11 from happening, would that have been a good thing? All of those people we lost that day would likely still be alive today if I had.

What might they have contributed to the world had they lived? A cure for cancer? The answer to drug abuse? A new invention that could save millions, or enable 3rd world countries to compete in the world market?

Children who are now fatherless or motherless would have their parents there to guide them. That empty place at the table would be no more. Could this possibly be a bad thing? Wouldn’t any of you out there have stopped it if you could have?

Or, would it have made no difference at all? Would there have been another attack somewhere else? Would we have been lulled further into a sense of false security, only to  ultimately lose thousands more?

Would it rip the fabric of intended events and cause an even worse result? I’d like to think that it wouldn’t. I’d like to think that we aren’t just pieces in the giant chess game of life. That we have a choice. That the whole universe and all of life isn’t already mapped out and preordained. That while there may be a giant blueprint of the future and even a master architecht out there somewhere that the design elements can still be changed and improved upon. That we can opt out of certain features, even at the last minute.

Because if it is all fated. If it is all preordained then what are we doing here? What is our purpose? To sit and watch? To be spectators as the future rolls out before us? To supply the oooohs and the aaaahs and things unfold?

I don’t think so. I think we all have a choice and make a contribution. I think it is encumbant upon us to seize life by the throat and insist on changing the bad things and on making a difference.

So, I ask you – if you could, what would you change? Who would you stop? What terrible world event would you reverse?


21 thoughts on “Back in Time

  1. Another toughie.
    I truly believe that destiny is unchangeable.
    For all the bad that comes out of it there’s also a greater amount of good.
    I’d change every single thing you mentioned above for the senselessness of it but ultimately I believe we’d still be where we are right now.
    Good stuff.

    Do you really believe that destiny is unchangeable? Because if it is then it doesn’t matter what we do then, does it? Then it means that some people are destined for fortune, success, love and others aren’t, doesn’t it? I’m not saying I have the answers, because I don’t – but that is my honest response to your response.

    I think man strives for the most part to make life better, conditions better. That’s why roads are built, businesses started, gardens are planted. And all those things changed destiny…for the better, othewise we’d still be trying to fight dinosaurs for dinner wouldn’t we? Don’t you think free will comes into play here?


  2. For me to go back and change things, I’d have to assume that my way is the right way, which is precisely why I think so many bad things in history happened. People give their own opinion too much credit, force their thinking on others, if not with good reasoning then with violence (having said that, this is also how the good things happen). And in hindsight things are always easier to assess, that should never give us the confidence to assume that we know how another way of handling a situation would have turned out.
    I guess for me it’s all about how I react to a situation and that at the end of the day, knowing that I have limited control over others, I am in control of my own life and live it responsibly.
    Love your questions lately, almost makes me dizzy as they are good and require thinking and evaluating. Have a wonderful day!

    I understand I think what you mean – you’re talking about the arrogance of thinking that your (one’s) way is the best way – say like Algore? (sorry, had to get that in). But I don’t mean that. I mean that you’ve had a glimpse of the future and you know that thousands of people will die if you do nothing and you know that you could do something about it. Is that still arrogant?

    Yes, we do have limited control over others – but again, I wasn’t talking about controlling people’s lives. I’m talking about changing events that were tragic and killed thousands, even millions – and whether that would have an impact good or bad on the world.

    I certainly have more questions than answers on this topic but I think that individuals do make a difference in the world. The teacher who helps a struggling student, the good samaritin who chases away bullies beating up an old man, and the much larger analogies to this type of thing. We do all belong to one another, are all members of the family of man and in my mind, it makes us responsible for each other.

    As always, thanks for the compelling response, Spaz.


  3. I think this is one of those questions that I’ll just put in the too hard basket. It’s kind of like “Choose one of your children to die and the others can live”
    There isn’t really any right or wrong. For example, lets say Hitler. How do we know that one of those most unfortunate souls that he tortured wasn’t a more evil person than him and if they had lived, caused MORE havoc on this world…
    I dunno, I think I’m gonna sleep on this one and perhaps do a post, its got me thinking on about 4 different tangents. DAMMIT! I’m sposed to be going to sleep!
    Great post love 🙂

    Hey Kel,
    LOL – sorry to get you thinking so close to sleep time. Imagine how I sleep. LOL. As to Hitler, personally, I’d be willing to take my chances. He was eventually killed, his killing spree was eventually stopped. So, if the six million he murdered had lived, the world might be a different place today. It could be worse, but somehow I don’t think so.


  4. I agree with what you are saying. And I can’t change my answers, even after your ‘I don’t mean that’, even for your ‘I mean’s the concept of the answer remains the same…….
    Bummer, seems this is another one of those topics that Spaz and WC need to discuss over a drink to make sure we understand eachother 🙂 . (Not that we have to be drunk to understand eachother 🙂 )

    LOL – maybe we will need to be drunk to understand each other. Although since you’re a multi-linguist, I may be the luckier participant in the conversation. 😉

    Okay, fair enough – you’ve got your view and I’ve mine. LOL – how did we ever become fwends? 😯


  5. I guess I fall on the side that we would be replacing one catastrophic situation or disaster with another. That if all the lives you saved by killing this one person or preventing this one event had continued, the same historic tendencies would continue, and some new disaster would happen.

    Not that it wouldn’t be great to save all the lives lost; of course it would. But the Darfurs and Bosnias and Talibans and Khmer Rouges and Nazis keep mutating and sprouting up in new ways, yea?

    Hey Ben,
    Don’t know if I’m just compelled to play Devil’s Advocate or not but my response is then:

    Well, if we would just be trading one castastrophic situation with another, then why do we do anything? Why didn’t we just sit out WWI, WWII, Korea, The Revolutionary War, and so on?

    Maybe you’re right, that the Darfurs, Bosnias & Talibans, et. al. keep mutating and sprouting up in new ways – but I have to believe that they don’t have to. That in fact, it could be changed and the mutations could/would stop. We’ve managed to make many diseases virtually extinct – ones that killed millions in the past, but you believe that we can’t change behavior. History is filled with new behavior based on new information.

    Like I said, maybe you’re right – but I have much higher hopes for mankind and for us all. I believe we are capable of enlightenment and change. And that if for example, 911 had never happened that we would be in better shape than we are now. Call me crazy, but I do.


  6. I very much believe that we are given a choice, but isn’t it interesting how our choices entirely effect the lives of others, and ultimately the world around us?

    It is amazing, and it seems we are of a similar mindset here, Kenz. One person can change the world – for the better. Otherwise, what’s this world peace concept all about? If nothing changes no matter what we do, then we’ll never have it, will we?


  7. One reason I love Cormac McCarthy novels is he deals with all the big questions–does man have real choice? In his novels the characters are predestined by who they are to make the choices they do. They can’t help but make certain disastrous decisions because of what motivates them. Fascinating.

    Hey Blogmom!
    I’m not familiar with this author but I’d be interested in seeing his premise. While I’d agree that some people really can’t help but make disastrous decisions because they are motivated by compulsions, etc. I don’t think that is true across the boards.


  8. I think we have a choice – free will and I also like to think that even the wrong choices have brought us (me, Saint Juancho’s as an individual) to where we are now- emotionally and spiritually and that’s a good thing, that even a wrong can make a right.
    Of course I base this assumption on Romans 8:28, for without faith, I’m afraid, I would cease to find meaning in things around me.
    I have to confess my attitude towards life is shaped by faith, it’s the only way I make sense out of so much pain. *sigh*

    Hi St. J,
    I like your outlook. I believe there is always a very strong spiritual factor at work where life is concerned and believe it shapes all of our lives.


  9. I have learned not to question things too much. That was something I would do all the time and I would find no answers, I’d just have more questions. I still bitch/whine/moan about my life and my lack of knowledge, resources whatever to help my children. However I now laugh everyday at something, that’s the only thing that keeps me sane, truly. My mom told me to pick up my cross and carry with me. She said Kathy we were all put here on this Earth to suffer in some way be it health problems, financially whatever the case may be. It’s what we do and how we go about dealing with our situations that will 1. get us through the problem/crisis and 2. determine where we will go after death. That’s just my belief and how I was raised. I think in a way we are all like road course racers we are put in the drivers seat and then we have to decide how we get through the tough course, do we go faster, slow down? do we stop the car, go around the roadblocks? or do we try for a shortcut? Who really knows. Me I would have changed 1.)all wars – there would have been NONE 2.)natural disaters like Katrina, sunamis’, tornadoes there would be none and there would be proper warnings for people to get out in time should a tornado occur 3.)no AIDS, cancer, heart disease and diabetics, no one would suffer from any form of mental illness 4.) there would be no bullying so no more school shootings, there would not have been horror at Colombine or VT, there would be no homeless people, or starving children in the world, no sex offenders,rapists etc. No John Wayne Gaceys’, or Ted Bundys’ those are just a few of my thoughts and things I would wipe out. We are here for such a short time I guess we just have to make the most/best out of what we have and be thankful for what we do have.

    Heya Buggsie!
    I agree, laughing is a necessary part of life. God knows, we’d all lose it if we didn’t have that. But I like the questions, even if I don’t find the answers. I like the journey that the questions send me on, even if I don’t come back from the trip without any rewards.

    LOL – but I see that if you had your druthers you would change a few things. I’d do it too.


  10. Personally, I’d stop the advent of Jovan Musk…I mean really, was there a need to make a cologne that smelled like moth balls and dying cactus?

    Sorry to take a “non deep in thought” angle to my post – but humor’s just my style!

    Great question though…just got done reading a book that was prereleased to our company entitled “The World Without Us”. It takes a look at the world once humans disappear – very thought provoking and detailed read if you like to ponder questions about human life and history.

    Hi Buttons and welcome to the debate. You make a good point about the musk, it really is an oppressive substance and we should banish it from the universe.

    Interesting that you read a book by that title, since I just wrote a post by the same title. Perhaps these are the topics of the day? Could be.

    Thanks for dropping by and injecting some humor, always welcome.


  11. I think I should have re-phrased my comment a bit.
    There were many stories post 9/11 of people that for one reason or another never made it to the World Trade Center office that day.
    For instance, a car breaks down and ultimately saves your life.
    A child is late for school and the parent has to drive the child, pissed off they’re late until they hear the news later.
    Is there any way these scenarios could have been avoided or changed?
    It was quite simply luck, destiny, fate or whatever you want to call it that took these people away from harm.
    Maybe it’s my “book of life” mentality that says this stuff was written long before we were even born.

    Okay, I see your point. But…what if…those things happened because on some level those people knew they shouldn’t be in that place or time. They may not have known why but on some level they knew? I’ve had things like that happen – for some reason I felt I should take a different route home one day, or leave work early cuz I was just dying to get home, only to discover there was a reason i did those things? I think everyone has experienced that.

    Why did both of us join WVU? Was it just a happy accident or did we know on some level that we each had a friend in the making there? I wonder, I really do.



  12. This is a huge question- fate. Destiny. Control. Absolute right and wrong. So many thoughts run through my mind right now, i can’t even form them into a coherent, sensical reply.

    i will say, however, that all of us should live life to its brim and contribute to the world as you suggested. Even if we have no control, we all have our parts in this life. Maybe we will never understand our purpose here but that doesn’t change the fact that we’re here so, yeah. Why be a spectator?

    LOL Christine, you’re my new best friend. 😉 Hell, yeah – is about all I can add to that.


  13. The only thing we can be certain of in life, I believe, is the certainty of the absurd; that frustrating, driving friction that results from man’s desire for a purpose to his existence in this universe and the eternal silence that universe gives us as an answer for our purpose.

    Hey Slackerqueen, cool name.

    Yep, there sure is a lot of the absurd happening in this universe – you’ll get no argument from me on that. However, I think the universe does respond, maybe though…not with the answer we want. To every question there is an answer. The trick seems to be in finding it.


  14. Oh geez.. this one makes me brain hurt. I don’t know. I don’t think I’m really supposed to know an answer. I don’t think any of us are supposed to know an answer to this. Umm . . shitfars! I’ll have to come back to this one, after some much needed sleep!

    Sorry hon, didn’t mean to make your brain hurt. 😉 No worries…get some rest.


  15. Hi WC,

    Well, no one, of course. I’ve read far too much science fiction to fall into that trap 😉 It would, however, be tempting to take out Al Gore.

    the Grit

    Hi Brit,
    Imagine a world without Algore in it. That is a very interesting premise.Who do you suppose would have picked up the global warming mantle then? Anyone? I’m a little flummoxed for a replacement for him. 😉


  16. If I was able to go back in time and change only one event, I’d go back to the very beginning. I’d offer Eve an option; funky fruit from a talking serpent or chocolate truffles from Future Girl. No matter how good the fresh fruit looked hanging on the tree, it’d be no match for the power of chocolate.

    Just to make sure the “fruit incident” wouldn’t happen again, I’d leave her with more chocolate then she’d ever be able to eat in a lifetime. And for good measure, I’d give her a “don’t talk to strangers” lecture, and I’d intrude her to the modern way to deal with vermin; scream until your man disposes of it.


    Hey Kelsey,
    That was a really great answer. You get the prize – of course, I don’t have one, but if I did, it’d be chocolate from the gods. 😉 Love it.


  17. Your thought provoking post resulted in many intersting responses. I enjoyed reading all of them. Few thoughts pop into my head 1) My husband’s father passed away when he was 16 years old. Shortly after his dad died, he dropped out of highschool (later got his GED) and went to work full time. He and I both have said, sadly, if his father had not passed away, we never would have met (time-line wise). So sad, but true. So, this whole going back in time question that you have posed is quite heartwrenching even on a small scare. 2) On a large scale though, if I had the chance to go back and kill Hitler; I’d do it in a heartbeat! Would another Hitler come along? Maybe, maybe not – but the first Hitler would be gone! How could you not wipe him off the face of the planet if you had the chance? It could only have been a better world without him in it, regardless if something else happened later. 😦

    Hey Bella,
    I’m sorry about your husband’s father, that must have been very hard for him to lose his dad so early in life. It is amazing how a tragedy can lead to something postive though.

    I’m with you on the Hitlers of the world. I’d do it in a heartbeat too. Yes, another may come along – but I simply don’t see how having one less monster in the world is wrong.



  18. Hi WC,

    That was my line of thought. It might be worth the, no doubt, horrible consequences of easing Gore from history, if no one else would fill his role as High Priest of Global Warming. Of course, with my luck, I’d wind up doing it.

    the Grit

    LOL Grit! I can’t even begin to decribe how funny that idea is – you being the global warming king. Yes, I’d pay real money to see that. 😆


  19. I would change nothing. Call me crazy, but worse things could have happened. The Cuban Missle Crisis could have become World War III. Without stalin, we would have lost WWII.

    Even worse- the miracle on ice would have NEVER happened.

    It’s fate, in the end. I think if we changed even the tiniest thing, a world of misfortune could ensue.

    Okay. Fair enough. I guess I’m more of a risk taker – I’ve always liked to stir things up and if I could, I guess I’d do that with world events. Luckily, I’m not inherently evil. muwhahahahahahahahaha. 👿


  20. It’s nice to be a winner. Chocolate from the gods sounds good. Since it’s from the gods and all I think it should be healthy, but taste even better than the real thing. Ah, if only…


    Well, I’ll keep an eye out. If ever I do find some heavenly chocolate, I’ll send you the contact info. 😉 Although your mom seems to have a line on it.


  21. i wonder if it’s like the premise in “final destination” where if you weren’t where you were supposed to be when a tragedy happened, maybe death will still come for you because death was your destiny. it’s hard to say though. and i would definitely do some nasty shit to Hitler and all those scumbag fuck serial killers

    Hey Reggie,
    You know I never saw that movie and didn’t know the premise – that’d be a good post, cheating death. Hmmm…I will have to think of it. And I know you’d kick Hitler’s ass – too bad we weren’t around then, eh?


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