Where would you Go?

March 12, 2014
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We were recently asked, if you could go back in time where would you go? Sounds like a question you would ask a 3rd grader. You know the kind, the ones that do their history assignments with a dutiful attitude and they’d respond with some brown-nosed answer such as, “See Jesus being born, Ma’am!”
And the teacher would rub their heads with affection, “Good answer, Jimmy!”
But you in the background would play with a 3rd grader toy, such as putty or a Red Rider BB Gun (just kidding, those things could shoot an eye out!), and ignore the kid, rolling your eyes.
Now, as a mature adult, or slightly less immature kid, I find myself turning into Jimmy, the dutiful student. They say knowledge is power and I’m learning that to be true.
I ask myself, would I have ignored Jimmy’s answer if I had known about Christian persecution in Jesus’ time? That just the mere thought of believing in God, and not the gods the Romans wanted their citizens to worship, was worthy of death? Would I have shrugged off the teacher’s question if I had known about Osama Bin Laden and his attack on the Twin Towers, causing the deaths of thousands of innocents? Completely disregarding the fact that 9/11 was just four years prior and we were still recovering from the loss? Would I have sat in the back, rolling my eyes at such a predictable answer if I had understood the at time the overwhelming and unthinkable thought of losing 65 million to war and Spanish influenza as a direct result of World War I? Could I have thought, No, that question doesn’t pertain to me, I’m too cool for this biz if I had known about concentration camps, extermination camps, gas chambers, and Anne Frank?
Would I have been able to handle it? The death, the horror, the lying awake at night, my eight year old brain wondering and trying to fathom an answer to the question. Why? How?
Would my eight year old mind have been handle anything but who should I play with on the playground today? Who’s going to sit with me at lunch?
Why? How? Why are people terrible? How could they do this? How could they allow so much death and destruction? Are they really so far gone, so lost in their own dark sides, they lose sight of some of the most important aspects of living? Things such as love, compassion, mercy, friends, family, and hope? The only thing that distinguishes us from rabid animals, is our humanity. Who are we without that? What kind of monsters do we become?
So, to answer the teacher’s question. Where would I go if time travel existed?
I think I’ll stay right here, thanks.

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