iván BRAVE

Writer

If you could, what would you change?

9 May 2019
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I hear Alan Watt’s voice talking about not changing anything, because it is impossible. Maybe the way things are are the way things ought to be. Then, I hear Michael Jackson’s voice saying if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change. Wouldn’t he have known. But then, I turn on the news, see a world full of violence and hate. And I ask myself, why isn’t this a wonderful world? It could be, it could.

 

There is so much advice out there, so much wisdom for naught. At the end of the day, things could be better, we could improve this and that. Sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes not enough.

 

What would I change . . . ?

 

About the world? First, I would have people be more patient with one another. That means less TV, less phones, and more talk, more activities. But why, right, when people like to mush the brain, be shown fast graphic images, and we’re in a hurry to have it done, too. We rush to the screen, there’s absolutely not a second to lose, notifications fly in. Fine, have it your way.

 

Plus, it isn’t that I’ll insist too much on having a boring conversation over you shooting jewels at other jewels for points. Three challenges with connecting face-to-face: strangers can be scary, coworkers distracting, and when mother asks how our day was at school, we roll our eyes. “Take me home, so I can close the bedroom door.” Yet, that’s the problem, isolation, as a result of impatience. The mother was only trying to connect with her kid; the kid with everyone else.

 

In the end, I’m realizing, if I want you to be patient, I’ll have to be patient with you.

 

What would I change about myself? I want to speak languages flawlessly. My Spanish needs somewhere to go. My English needs sharpening. My Romanian needs encouraging. My Russian needs food, literally, the names of foods are what I should learn next. And French, sacré bleu, I ought to start reading more in it. There’s a reason for this.

 

Patience, what else, more reading. Yes that. I would ask the world to read more, just another form of slow connection, patient connection. Though, is it selfish to want more people to read? Nah, but yeah, read my book, my friends’ books, my professors’ books.

 

A Pause.

 

The thought of a clever genie interrupts my train. What if anything I could change would end up becoming some horrible misfortune, or worse, a hydra. Watts winks from above.

 

Example, remember X-Files? Agent Mulder meets a wish-granter. Mulder says, “I know what I want, I wish for world peace.” Next thing he knows, the genie makes all the humans in the world disappear. So the detective is forced to use his second out of three wishes to reverse the first. A waste!

 

Remember Aladdin? I was fascinated as a kid by the number of wishes he got. Remember how he tricked Robbin Williams into giving him that first wish, to escape the desert? He technically got four wishes, only that the third wish didn’t really count, because it was used to launch him out from under the water, when he was drowning. So, he really only got two good wishes: to become a prince and to save the day.

 

C’mon, yells the daemon inside, quit, answer the question already! Why? Why answer the question? Does announcing your wishes allow others to ponder their own answer? I thought I’d rather keep them a secret. I’m thinking now of birthday wishes.

 

Hush.

 

But, even I can see, I’m just going in circles, just letting the brain ramble on. There aren’t answers just yet. I am still feeling my way through the question, as if my answer can only come at the end, when it is time to leave, when it’s absolutely necessary to write 1, 2, 3, and call it a day.

 

<Looks at watch.> Ah. It’s time.

 

1. If I could, I would wish for everyone to improve their communication skills. To be understood, to understand. To express, and to learn. To join, or drift apart, whatever’s best. So long as we commune, I mean, communiate.

 

2. If I could, I would wish for the world to work toward common goals. To be connected, to feel inspired. To share, to grow. To build, or take apart, whatever’s needed. So long as we are not divided, but united.

 

3. If I could, I would wish for everyone to realize their inner dream, satisfy that eternal hunger, reach for their full potential. This way, I believe, everyone fulfills their role that our species needs them to fulfill. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander kind of thing.

 

There.

 

I said them. Now what.

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