I look at these options, and the choice was surprisingly easy; I’d take the cash. This does not come from either greed or shallowness. Rather it is from the recognition that the mistakes I made – and to quote Sinatra, “I’ve made a few” – are what makes me, ME. This is NOT to say that there aren’t choices I’ve regretted, only that undoing them would mean I would presumably unlearn the lesson of my errors.
To play the scenario out, there’s no guarantee that fixing the mistakes would lead to a good result. I was struck by the fact, in the Stephen King novel 11/22/63, that the protagonist has to make several different attempts going back in time to try to thwart the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. More prosaically, there’s an irritating newish Disney show called Best Friends Whenever, about time-traveling teens, and they too find going back to fix things not so easy.
Would I have to relive parts of my twenties? OH, God, please, NO.
Sometimes mistakes are good. I was giving a presentation at the Friends of the Albany Public book review on The Gospel According to the Beatles. Some of the group’s greatest creativity came from “mistakes,” such as the line “two-foot small” in You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, instead of “two-foot-tall.” Moreover, there is a philosophy that one should embrace errors as part of the serendipity of life. Many inventions were “mistakes,” someone trying to make something else.
Hey, maybe the mistake was not saving enough for retirement, or for The Daughter’s college fund. Taking the money would SOLVE the error.
Online, someone fretted that having lots of money would be too likely to change his life, a legitimate concern, giving the history of some lottery winners. I wrote:
Think of the things
You can do with that money
Choose any charity
Give to the poor
This reference to Caiaphas singing in Jesus Christ Superstar – Damned For All Time/ Blood Money – was totally lost on the participants, alas.
But what say YOU?