When Do You Want to Be?
Over the radio, I heard of studies, interviews and polls that asked people, “What would you do if you were presented with a real, working time machine?”
An interesting highlight was the large number of people who would go back to a particular time or event, such as a key battle, but only to be in a role of some consequence.
Where Do You Want to Be?
I had a friend post on Facebook: "If you could live in any world from any book you've read, which world would it be?"
I responded, "Quite a few would be fun to visit, but not live. I am quite content where I am. Reading makes for great visiting."
Who Do You Want to Be?
How many people would love to be a certain character or role in a book they've read, as opposed to just a personality in that world? In all of entertainment - with the many novels, comic books, television shows, movies and more out there - would I be content to be a side player or minor character if I could really live it? Or would I want to be the main character?
Take the Marvel universe, for example: Would I be content to be a mom, wife, writer, business woman in ed tech - basically, the person I am now, in the same roles - in a universe with aliens, inhumans, secret agencies, and superheros? Or would I want to be an Avenger myself or an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
The first thing to pop into my head at sight of the Facebook query was the Star Wars universe. But if I'm not involved with Luke Skywalker or a Jedi, what else of interest would there be?
I thought of Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern. But thoughts of the reality of a medieval-like society with its social strata and lack of technology, especially modern medicine, pressed down on me. It’s the same reason I might perk up at the idea of going to visit medieval times in our own reality and universe, given a time machine, but, in the end, a renaissance fair or festival sounds more fun and practical.
The true bottom line here is people like to think of being someone different, not just themselves in a different setting, possibly with the rules of our immediate universe thrown to the wind. There is nothing wrong with dreaming.
We essentially ask kids the time machine question* when we ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
*(It was interesting to note from the radio presentation that the question never included the provision you could only travel backward, yet a large of number of responses were framed within that idea.)
Fiction and even the history books are great places to start to expand your imagination as to the possible answers to this question of who you want to be.
How relevant is setting to your role?
If you could have a real, working time machine, would you use it? When would you go?
If you could live in any fictional universe, which would it be?