Parul Methi, 14, KGV:
I wouldn’t change anything in my life, because it would have a negative effect on who I am right now.
Memories shape a person. I am who I am today because of everything that happened before. Every single little thing that’s ever happened to me occurred for a reason. I fell off my bike countless times, but it taught me not to be afraid of falling. I obtained terrible marks on tests, but it taught me to work harder the next time. In return, I gained better grades.
I believe in the butterfly effect – a single occurrence, no matter how small, can have a huge impact on life later. Ray Bradbury wrote a science fiction short story called A Sound of Thunder which perfectly depicts the butterfly effect. In the story, a group travels back to the past to hunt dinosaurs. But one hunter strays off the path and steps on a butterfly. When they return to the present, they are surprised to see the world has changed for the worse.
How does this relate to me? I believe that changing even a very small thing in my past would have a big impact on who I am today. This worries me because I know I don’t want anything about me or my personality to change.
Sarah Rose, 29, pub landlady:
No, I would not. I had a long hard think about this question, and I thought of many possibilities, such as spending more time with my granny before she died when I was 16, spending more time with my mum while we were grieving for my granny, and going to the doctor and taking my anti-depressant medication sooner.
But I very strongly believe that everything happens for a reason, and as a very big Star Trek fan, I like the word “Kaiidth”, which in the Vulcan language, roughly means “What is, is” (one has to accept what cannot be changed). From watching many a Dr Who episode with my husband, it has been ingrained in me that even the slightest thing can change the future entirely. And if I made any changes to my past, there would be no future as I know it. I would not be able to have the same friends or husband, and I may even have a completely different relationship with my family.
My life is not perfect, nor is it what I ever dreamt of as a child, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. I don’t want it to change by changing the past. I want it to change by me changing the present.
Chan Wai-fong, 75, housewife:
Of course I would go back in time if it was possible! We all make mistakes; while some can be taken as life lessons, I don’t mind changing some others. One thing I regretted is overlooking the details of daily life. In hindsight, I think I neglected my own health.
If I had the opportunity to change anything, I would have changed my mind, and realised the importance of exercise, such as stretching. Who knows, perhaps my joints could have been functioning much more smoothly now! Also, I would have asked my family to do the same.