I have become a big fan of the ABC drama “Flash Forward.” In that show, the entire world blacks out for a little over 2 minutes, during which time most of the people have visions that turn out to be visions of events that will happen on a specific date about 6 months in the future. As people begin to start understanding these visions and believe in their authenticity, it changes the way they act. They start doing things to either hasten the fulfillment of those visions, or to prevent them from coming true.
Every time I watch this show I start thinking about how people would act if they knew their futures. It is an interesting thought. In the show, you have people that are resigned to the future they saw and feel that they have no control over their own lives – everything is pre-determined, no matter what they do. Then you have others that don’t like what they saw and either get very upset/depressed about it or try to do things to change or prevent what they saw in their vision.
The mere act of being told what will happen in our futures causes us to act differently than we might otherwise act – thereby changing that very future. It kind of reminds me of looking in a mirror that is placed directly opposite another mirror. If you place yourself in the middle, looking into one mirror will show you an endless stream of mirror images of yourself looking in a mirror. I know this all gets a little philosophical. I personally don’t believe that we can see our futures. We can try to predict what might happen. Sometimes we will be correct and sometimes we won’t. Every minute of our lives is full of decisions that change our future.
Back in the 80’s, a lot of people were getting and dying from AIDS. The doctors did not know what to do for them. They told their patients to prepare for death. Then came a new class of drugs (protease inhibitors) that began to “resurrect” these people. Suddenly they were not dying anymore. However, they had been so sure that they were near death that they started doing crazy things since they knew that they would not live. When they did start to survive and even thrive, they had to now deal with the consequences of those actions – consequences they never expected to be alive to face.
So “knowing” our future can be a dangerous thing. It can make us do things that we would never otherwise do. I prefer to live in the present and do my best to “guide” my future into the path that I think would be the best path for me.