Writing Challenge: Foresight

You’ve been granted the power to predict the future! The catch — each time you use your power, it costs you one day (as in, you’ll live one day less). How would you use this power, if at all?

I would definitely use the power.  Not much, but for a specific set of reasons.

  1. To aid a large number of people who need help – such as people in the path of volcanic eruptions, or F5 tornadoes.  Knowing there was this type of disaster coming (from current events, not from my own abilities) with enough warning, I would employ the power to ensure that the largest number of people could clear the danger area, thus preserve the greatest number of lives and personal memories possible.
  2. To preserve a species – if knowing the future would help me to preserve a species, then I would gladly use it despite the consequences.  I do not mean this to imply I would use the power solely against developers or industrialists.  Nature has a time line she plays on.  It is much longer than we could imagine, but if I could preserve one or more of her species from being destroyed out of turn, I would.
  3. To provide hope – hope that tomorrow will be better than today, that humanity would mature and become something other than an earth-born disease. That someone’s loved one will find themselves in a happier place, or to ensure that I, at least, do the least amount of harm to others.  Sometimes, having to make the hard choices means giving up days of your life one hour at a time.  This is a price I gladly pay each and every day I am alive.
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22 thoughts on “Writing Challenge: Foresight

  1. Okay first.. where did this challenge evolve from? I saw the same on Takashi’s Flight, I thought she was just posing a question. Also, if you are reading this now, I’m mad at you because you need to be watching Under the Dome, and The Leftovers, and The Strain ;). But seriously, I must challenge you, dear martyr to the world… I’m not trying to discourage you.. I guess just be realistic. So, have you really thought this out? Because you are not giving up 3 days with all those ambitions. Were talking years here. Also, a good chance you’ll be:
    1. locked in a loony bin before anyone will even listen. I mean really. Do you think those people who died from that Tsunami would of left the island cause you saw it?
    2. Losing more years of life worrying about getting to the person/place/thing on time to actually make that difference therefore stressing, freting and obsessing about someone’s else life and not living your own.
    3. Possibly through your actions of changing the course of history, someone else will have that fate sealed instead of the person you saved, because of the whole balance of nature thing..
    4. Riddled with guilt, and ultimately, depression, because you know what’s in store for the world.

    Just having fun here, mind you. However, if you could live longer in life, not knowing the future but knowing what you do or say on an everday basis could do all that future predicting would, but you’d never get the credit or actually see the results, would you live longer?? 😉 Later chickie.

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    • Oh, and also, when do you say no more? Say you did make that difference with that day of your life. But now, you don’t want to lose anymore, but someone else is out there that you could fix. When is enough enough? Do you end up sacrificing the world of a beautiful and ambitious writer that will touch the lives of millions with her stories, inspire others and bring joy and peace in her own way, for the heroic notion that she might make a difference by sacrificing her life, dreams and hopes, that could of saved lives. Hmmm….

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      • That is the huge driving factor for most caretakers. There is never an “enough” moment. There is simply “I cannot go on” moments that force you to take a step back, rest a little before rejoining the fray. “Enough” comes for the healers and givers when there is no one else needing our brand of help. And, I use “need” specifically here. Many times, someone who thinks they need a helper really do not. It is up to the caretaker to understand when they have quit being a necessity and have started to become a crutch. But, until that moment of understanding develops, there can never be “enough.” It is why nurses, doctors, or other medical professionals who actually CARE hate the current health care crisis that rules most of the world right now. There are not enough of these types of individuals around, and so they wind up working themselves into early graves. I include myself in this group because I am doing my level best to get into this field. I chose it because it would allow me the best opportunity to help the greatest number of people for the longest length of time before the body up and said “I cannot do this any longer.” If I did not care so much, I would have gone into office work, and probably have been well established in some company many years ago.

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        • Okay, freaky. I just finished my comment only to read this and have my question answered. I should tell you too.. I have also been that kind of caretaker.. to my mother, whose suffered from diabetes related illnesses and has now just had a mastectomy because she was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 74. I do not wish to diminish your eager and hopeful attitude towards this field.. it is such an abused area and people like you are very needed, and needed to live as long as possible. Just remember that, Supergirl.

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          • Not supergirl, though I do try to be that. Haven’t figured out how to clone myself.. yet. Still working on that tech! Hopefully, one day. Then I will be able to actually accomplish all I want to in a day while maintaining some sort of ability to remember what sleep is on a regular basis.

            Best wishes for a speedy recovery for your mother. I, too, live with cancer as part of my possible future issues. My mother is a breast cancer survivor, so there is hope. Even with the other health complications.

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    • I don’t know where it came from originally, but I found it on the Daily Post. (And, I have caught up with my TV, so hush!)

      As for thinking this out… I live this just about every day naturally. The power would only be a refinement of what I look at. No, I do not expect everyone to listen to a single voice. That is why I said in my post “the largest number of people could clear the danger area” and that I would be working from current events to gauge where my voice would be most likely to be heeded. After a few such warnings that proved to be true, the likely hood of being listened to would be higher, than if it were just a random sampling. Yes, I would receive flack for NOT warning of some events – but if I don’t know about them, how can I warn about them? But, at the same time, if you knew there was a tsunami or strong hurricaine coming your direction, but you would not suffer any large damage, would you be more or less inclined to leave? This would help not just those in the path, but the first responders to such situations. (Of which, if I can get into my chosen career path, I will likely be part of that effort. So, I am also helping me. It is not COMPLETE altruism here!)

      As for point 2 – if knowing I had preserved some part of nature that was not yet ready to be extinct meant I had lost part of my life, I would feel no remorse. Again, there is a often a simple thing to do with little or no effort, it is just a matter of deciphering where a single voice phrased properly can do the most good. Such as getting a large organization already close to a focus to zero in – often this is something a single series of letters or string of correspondence can accomplish. The issue the foresight would help with would be deciphering which group would have the largest effect. Then, knowing what is possible, pushing a little to make it happen. I do not mean doing the impossible single handedly. After all, most people can accomplish the miraculous this week, the merely impossible on a daily basis. It is the horrifically god-like effects that get noticed, and those take a least a year to set up! (Then I’m not even likely to be involved.)

      point 3 – This is going to happen. It sounds callus, but it is something ranchers and farmers understand. It is called culling. If the sacrifice of a single creature is needed in order to ensure the survival of more, then that single creature is sacrificed. A little guilt? Probably. But, the reward of knowing things will be better will outweigh the short term. And, I say that with my imagination painting my own family, myself, or my furry “children” being the ones sacrificed. This is because I am a caretaker at heart. Not just for humanity, myself, or those in my care, but also of nature.

      point 4) This is the kicker. However, knowing the future is mutable, and that things CAN change outweighs the probability of being flooded under with guilt or any negativity. Knowing that things get better because of my work, even if it is in the smallest ways is reward enough.

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      • Lol, there’s no arguing that you have a kind heart… when I first read this challenge, I immediately thought of my own life and those in it. After all, it’s my future. So there’s all those people that if I used my power on I’d sacrifice those days. However, that being said, I don’t think my not sacrificing my life for powers that might help the world makes me selfish, because I think, that to a degree, I’m doing that with my life. Or at least, that is the plan. What I commented originally to Suji was the thought of the movie “The Butterfly Effect” with darn it I cannot think of his name now that actor guy- OH Ashton Kutcher. and how his attempts to change the past made things worse and worse, and he kept going back trying to fix it. Then there’s another reference I must hit you with, you Stephen King lover as I.. 11-22-63.. have you read that one?? OMG… if not, a great great one. When he got to go back to that date, it was after a man spent most all his life trying to fix these events only to screw them up further. Then that man took over did the same– but only to fail over and over at saving John Kennedy’s life. Every time, he had to go a year of life until the actual event of Kennedy’s assassination happened.

        Its a little ironic of me, being a devil’s advocate in a situation such as this, one would think I’d sacrifice everything to better the world… to take back my friends’ death, etc., but I know that I couldn’t of changed what happened. I don’t know why, but I know that people only hear what they want to. You can plant seeds, but, unless you are the guru of all things knowing, I have an Aunt that was like a mom that died of my Uncles’ smoking. If I could have predicted that to them, I’m sure that a. They wouldn’t of listened to me b. he wouldn’t have quit smoking and c. she wouldn’t have left him.

        I don’t think I know what your chosen career path is, I always assumed writer, but it sounds from the things we’ve shared that you are in the medical field. Also, although I feel completely kindred to you and on every level equal, I know you are younger than me… lol… I say that only because I have dutifully and continue to be a caregiver as a path that was chosen for me when I chose to be a mom at 19. So it is in my heart and soul to always be that way too. But as a bit more of an experienced life veteran (I just made that up but it sounds kind of good) and from what I’ve learned about life, I guess I see it like this: whether or not I know someone’s fate, I can do the most good in this world only by sharing what I’ve learned from making those mistakes. If I knew someone was going to die, and they wouldn’t listen, I’d spend every waking day doing anything– and I mean anything, including tying them up to a chair so they didn’t walk out the door the day they’d die, and I think it would be fruitless for the most part. But what I can do, is plant seeds. Some are going to grow, and some are going to die. I’d rather not know ahead of time that that seed is going to die anyways. I’d rather…. (lol.. sorry, its just perfect though)…. have hope.

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        • I do not think it odd at all. You have more than yourself to think of within a small circle. Except for being the youngest in my family, I really have only my cats. Depending on what you believe in, I see the entire world as my extended family – despite the wars (nasty sibling rivalry), and the lack of understanding between countries (Sibling rivalry at a less advanced stage).

          I admit I would LOVE to be a full time author – but I also can acknowledge that achieving that type of fame takes YEARS. And, between now and then, I have to pay the bills somehow. So, I am trying to get grades up so I can qualify for Occupational Therapy (or therapy assistant, still undecided on this point.) Though I have not had to shoulder the responsibility of a family of my own, I have been in positions where I wound up being the “responsible” one through some rather tough times. (And, some would think I would prefer to go into counseling because of this. Um… NO!~! Not unless I have to!)

          I do not seek to change the past – it is not completely impossible (again, depending on what you believe – especially depending on how hard-held your perception is), but guiding the future is entirely possible. Again, quite often a small nudge at the right time can make a world of difference. This is a similar strategy to what you mention about planting seeds. But, having a good idea WHERE to plant the seeds is as important as knowing which seeds to plant. Sometimes knowing that no seed will take root is enough, providing the freedom to ensure you take as much enjoyment out of each moment as you can.

          As for age – I’m old enough to want to change the world, young enough to think it is still possible, and too old to pull off the all-nighters required to do everything I want to in a given 24 hour period. ::Grins::

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