Tuesday, May 28, 2024

What If

April 10, 2010  
Filed under Coffee Table

By Annie Suh —

I remember being a kid and reading those Choose Your Own Adventure novels where I got to pick how the story ended. I always hated lame endings. It just felt like a waste of calories without the satisfaction of eating good food.

Sometimes I’ll make up A and B scenarios in my head and try to measure out how my life would’ve turned out if this or that happened. Maybe it’s because of that Sliding Doors movie on the shelf that my eyes involuntarily gloss over when I’m grabbing the remote—you know, the film starring Gwyneth Paltrow where they show two different versions of reality: her life had she missed the train and her life had she got on.

See, what if you woke up tomorrow to a devastating 9.0 earthquake and survived it, except that your face became permanently maimed and you had a career working as an executive at a top firm where image is everything. Would you lose your identity because you based it on looks, position and status? Or would you be resilient and undeterred because you based your identity on something lasting?

What if you knew that you only had two weeks to live—would you be partying up and living the life until you died or would you be busy making a mark? Would you attempt to be more selfish or would you act more generously?

What if you found out that everything you believed in for the past five years was proven wrong in an instant. Would you have the guts to humble yourself or would you choose to justify yourself and attempt to repair your ego?

What if you could get everything you wished for, but as a result of some wishes, someone else in the world gets deprived of their needs. Would you take chances and still ask for what you want, or would you make a sacrifice?

What if you had the power to change the life of every person you encounter, even with an action as small as a smile. Would you act differently or would there be no difference since you know that this is only an “if” question?

What’s your ending?

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