Sunday, March 25, 2007

What If?

What if?

Most of us are tempted to use these two words in situations of incomprehensible difficulties and cul-de-sacs. It’s as if merely thinking about the other set of possibilities, had we taken the other direction, the other path would somehow make things different. Maybe make the time spent less painful and the outcome less untoward. It is a good thing that the scenario remains a distant possibility to ruminate about and not an option or an actuality. Like most of our wishful thoughts, the culmination to any ‘what if’ would be nothing short of a disaster. If we come to analyse the precedent in which we revert to using these words, then the most common occurrence would be our realization that by somehow reacting differently in the said situation, the outcome could have been changed and hence everything end up as hunky dory. That by changing one single moment, one decision, we would have been able to alter the series of events that followed.

I disagree. Our actions at any point of time are governed by either our impulses or a careful thought process. To revere about a different selection would be the same as changing the very basic premise of our persona, the thing that defines us in our entirety. If at any point of time, there was a chance of that happening then we would have done that without waiting for a particular event. Thinking about a different set of possibilities would be being hypocritical and evasive. It would be the same as saying “don’t trust me, I am a schizophrenic lunatic”. Discarding the possibility of any person owning up to the previous statement, today I realize that it is a way of running away from the present and throwing a blanket over the demands of our conscience. That whatever we might have done at any point of time, the result would always be the same, it would always lead to the same pain and heartache. I realize that what happens is a conscious result of our actions which are driven by us, by the people that we are. It won’t change or deflect a dangerous possibility if we decided to act in the exact opposite way the next time we are faced with a similar kind of situation. Not because every situation is different, but because the person behind those situations remains the same. Deciding to act in the opposite way is superficial.

Understanding ourselves and others involved in the situation would be a better way to deal with the excruciating outcome. And sometimes that involves moving on. Being the person I am, and knowing how many times I get lost in ‘what if’, I know that’s the most difficult part. Maybe all this analysis is only meaningless jabber.

I have lost perspective all anew.