What Is Your Biggest Regret?

Mankind has always been fascinated with time travel. The popularity of movies and shows like the Back to the Future franchise and Doctor Who are evidence of a genuine interest. Don’t believe me? Bring it up around your friends sometime. We typically gravitate to a favorite era in history or particular events in time that intrigue us. But if we really could go back in time, would we really choose to visit an era or event? In 1997, a small magazine found themselves in a bind. They were about to send their next edition to their publisher when they realized they still had space in the magazine that needed to be filled. A friend of the editor decided to take out a few ads to fill the extra space. One of the ads he took out read:

Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box 322 Oakview, CA 93022. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I’ve only done this once before.

Of course, it was a joke, but he ended up receiving tons of mail. Some of the people who replied got the joke and responded accordingly. But others took him seriously and really thought he could take them back in time.

Everyone Has Regrets

The interesting thing about these replies is that the ones who took him seriously wanted him to undo the worst mistakes they had ever made. Few, if any, desired to go to a specific era or witness major turning points in history, nor did people want to revisit a happy moment in their past. Most had made mistakes that they wanted to change, and they thought this ad, as silly as it might seem, could actually offer them an opportunity to undo what they’d done.

We can relate. We all have things we’ve said or done that we wish we could do over. What would you go back and change? Would you say no to that first cigarette? Would you be a better parent to your children? Would you refuse to click on porn or choose not to engage in premarital sex? One of the responders to the ad wanted to go back in time and stop the hitman she hired to kill her husband.

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