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Back when I knew it all

by Greg Krehbiel on 27 December 2013

From time to time I wish I could go back in time and give myself advice. I’ve made a lot of foolish choices over the years and it’s fun to think about the possibility that I could fix them.

I’m pretty sure the young me would be too arrogant to listen and would have lots of justifications for that attitude.

-- 2013-12-27  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 6

  1. DSM
    27 December 2013 @ 11:30 am

    What makes you so confident that the advice you’d give your past self would make things better? It’d make things different, for sure, and you could avoid some big mistakes — of the “shot a man in Reno” variety — but those choices would have consequences too. See TNG, Tapestry.

    The more interesting question is what advice the future you would give the you of today.

  2. pentamom pentamom
    28 December 2013 @ 8:03 am

    It’s true that not all the advice someone around the half-century mark would give his/her former pre-quarter-century self would have an ideal outcome, but if you’ve spent that quarter-century plus maturing, the advice would, at least, be a more sound basis for decision-making than the way we made decisions “back then.” While I’m still capable of making dumb decisions or making them for the wrong reasons, I’ve learned a LOT over the years. My biggest frustration, though, is not so much with my past self, as with my kids. That is, my kids are all pretty sensible and none has done anything majorly dumb yet, but the frustrating thing is watching them and wishing that there was some way the benefit of experience could be passed over the generations, rather than every person having to learn it for himself, when there are literally billions of people around who could tell him that youthful stupidity is stupid.

  3. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    28 December 2013 @ 8:15 am

    @DSM, yes, I’ve thought about that, but I agree with Pentamom that the odds lean in the favor of age and experience. :-)

    BTW, I wrote a story about my future self coming back and giving me advice. It didn’t make the cut for “Tales from Crow Hill,” but maybe I’ll just post it here somewhere.

    Since I can’t do that I’ve tried over the years to have much older friends. They’ve often pulled me away from the brink.

    @Pentamom, I also get frustrated at the way young people don’t take advice — including my kids. I think it’s just the way the young mind works.

    Once I defined maturity as that point in your life when you realize that when your parents told you the music you listened to is awful, they were right. I think it takes time to get there.

  4. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    28 December 2013 @ 9:04 am

    addressing this topic and worth watching: “ Tapestry” – the fifteenth episode of the sixth season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

  5. Robin R.
    28 December 2013 @ 9:19 am

    @Greg, if that is how you define maturity, I am haven’t advanced beyond my teen years. I still love most of the music that was awful to my parents. But one thing that has changed is that I no longer find their music awful. I even like some of it.

    Fortunately I do not regret any of my big decisions, though I did make stupid ones regarding minor little things. Of course some of those little things seemed big at the time.

    The way I see my life is that there was a telos already there in my youth and it was actualized – and is still actualizing, in spite of the usual obstacles.

  6. John Krehbiel John Krehbiel
    28 December 2013 @ 10:22 am

    I agree that my young self wouldn’t have listened to my old self, any more than I listened to the substantially similar advice form others.

    What I would say is that there was information I should have been given. Not spoilers, like buy Yahoo and Microsoft, but things like the fact that math is like music– it’s not enough to understand, you have to practice; IOW, do the bloody homework!

    Still, I have little reason to believe it would have made any difference.

    Still, to paraphrase The Graduate: “Molecular genetics!”