Life Has No “Undo”
Computers are wonderful inventions — when they are working right at least! And one of the most wonderful things computers have given us is the “Undo” button. I use it all the time when I’m working in art programs like Photoshop or Illustrator. It’s so easy to mess up a brush stroke, or delete something I didn’t mean to, but the Undo command comes to my rescue every time. If I made these mistakes on paper, they would not be as easy to correct, if I could do it at all!
As the virtual reality of computers has become a larger and larger portion of our lives, I believe we have started to take for granted the Undo function of that virtual universe and forget that life has no “Undo” feature.
Our actions in the real world cannot be undone. Words can never be unsaid. We can apologize or regret; the result, however, is not an erasure, but a bandage. The original action or speech never goes away.
I consider this concept every time I hear about events like last week’s horrific bombings in Boston, or the tragedy in Newtown, CT. The lives lost can never be recovered like a mistaken deletion. Wounds cannot be erased with a keystroke. Families will not be healed by copy and paste. How could anyone perpetrate such acts if they had these ideas in mind?
I wonder if young Mr. Tsarnaev wished for an Undo key as he lay bleeding in that boat before his arrest. I doubt we’ll ever know.
Perhaps this is why I write fantasy stories about people with magical powers, and science fiction stories of time travel. Deep inside, I long for the ability to Undo. Until we can bend the universe to our will, the best we can do is think before we act or speak. Consider the consequences of our words and actions before we unleash them. If we can achieve a higher level of self control, I believe the world would be a better place. There have been plenty of things I wish I could Undo, but I am doing my best every day to minimize them!
What do you think? Is there anything you wish you could Undo? I’d love to hear your thoughts!