Probably one of the most popular topics in science-fiction of all times has been the idea of time traveling. In literature and cinema, this topic has been written numerous times. We know, and love such movies as “Back to the Future," “Butterfly Effect." These, as well as many others are pointing mostly to one question: how can a person effect or change their entire life at the present by making even slight alterations in their own past? In my opinion, this is one of the most common, natural, at the same time bewildering questions. The movie twelve monkeys says, “Time travel is practically the only barrier that Mankind has not yet pushed through – equally, time travel is too often the theme of science fiction novels or cartoons.”
When I was a child, I dreamed about a machine that would allow me to pause, or save certain moments from my life, so that in case if I failed to do something, I could always start my life again from a checkpoint. I imagined all the things that could be done with a device like this. I could travel the world, and be back before dinner. I would be a super hero with the ability to stop the villains of the world. All I had to do was se a crime on TV, pause the time and go to that place and stop the criminals.
As I got older, my life gradually became more diverse. Most of the time I had no idea how I was supposed to act. A lot of my actions at that point in time turned out for good in the future. Some mistakes delivered me and people around me many painful moments. Mistakes happen. They let us to learn, motivate us to change towards the better, and still sometimes I would like to leap into a time machine, go back a couple of years ago, and make many corrections.
I would rather warn myself about the future events, and my most reckless decisions. I would talk to a cool teen holding his first cigarette and tell him. “Don’t do that, years will pass until you get determined to quit.” Or “Man, don’t go there, you don’t need to see what is going on in that place tonight.” “Don’t drive so fast!” So many warnings I would give to myself that sometimes I think: “was it really me who did this and that?” I still wish I had that time device. If perhaps I did have one, it would make life so much easier! However, what I think more often now is that living without this ability teaches us responsibility. For yourself, about your own life, which is the only one we have. And besides, our mistakes make us what we are. Today I am a person leading a semi-normal lifestyle. I care about my friends, and even more importantly family. I always think about my share of responsibility, to include responsibility for family. I try to live each day to the fullest in order to regret nothing.
If I could turn back time, I would try to make my future better. This is actually what our parents always try to do when we are young. I am glad that no time machine has been invented. Things would most certainly be different than they are now. I am not sure if things would be better, or worse. Perhaps A Time Travelers Guide may say it best: “What would happen if history could be rewritten as casually as erasing a blackboard? Our past would be like the shifting sands on the seashore, constantly blown this way or that by the slightest breeze. History would be continually changing every time someone spun the dial of a time machine and blundered his or her way for the past. History, as we know it, would be impossible. It would cease to exist.”
Time travel is an idea that has had human being at the edge of their seats since it’s the beginning of what we know as time. The idea of being able to travel through time, and go into the future, the past, and experience life from its different points, slow down or even pause, is the dream of many people. The idea of time, and time travel has been confused, and intrigued people since the beginning of written history. Technically speaking everybody on earth is "traveling" through time. Everyone's hour, every minute that ticks forward, we are being pushed through the dimension we know of as time. Even human's perception of time changes depending on how our brain processes it. For example, if a person is entertained for being mentally stimulated, time seems to fly by and go in a heartbeat. On the other hand, if somebody is bored, time seems to go on much slower. In reality, time is not being sped up or slowed down, but our perception of time is. I think I would just like to continue making mistakes, and dealing with the consequences, because this makes me the person that I am. Without every little instance of my life, I would not have the family I have, the memories I carry, or the inspirations I have received.
CLIFFORD PICKOVER . A Traveler's Guide. September 1999
Terry Gilman. Twelve monkeys. August 1995