Saturday, February 07, 2009

The World In Reverse

It occurred to me, in correspondence today with one of my childhood friends, that to speculate on how how my life and other lives would have been different if I had remained in my old New York neighborhood is akin to imagining a sort of reverse variation on "It's a Wonderful Life," in which the world is altered in unexpected ways by the presence of a specific individual.  That wouldn't necessarily mean a positive influence, either.  As I observed in a recent response to a comment on an earlier blog, it's akin to mixing two benign chemicals resulting in a toxic substance.  If we each influence other lives, which in turn influence other lives in an ever-expanding field, then both the friends I never made in California, combined with the friendships I would have maintained in the east would have, in turn, generated or denied other friendships, with a variety of positive and negative results.  

Like the JFK assassination  "what if's," it's a hopeless exercise - there can be only speculation.  It's a reminder, however, of how complicated and connected our lives are, even as children - how and who we interact with, why we make decisions, and the direction we decide to take in our lives.  

No comments: