5. 11. 2020

English Version | To be continued: the beauty of the undo button(?)

by Sara Andrade


What if you could “undo” something? If life had sort of Ctrl-Z shortcut? If you could undo a past "mistake"? If you could go back and change something that you'd rather not have done or have done otherwise? Would you do it? Even risking not being the person you are now, or where you are now? If we had an undo button, would we have perfect lives? Perhaps. But were they really that interesting?

I don't know how many times I thought how much I would like to go back. Well, I do know: none. Hmmm, more or less: fleetingly, it is common for me to think that I would prefer to have chosen other words or to have had taken the higher road, but this feeling quickly gives way to a sense of analysis and solution. The past is the past, even if it happened about 30 seconds ago, and the important thing now is to heal it or get the best out of it.

Maybe because I never deeply regretted anything. Anyone who has done something truly irreparable may have a different perspective. But even for those people, surely, life has tried to show that time brings a new light on the subject. Besides, all the mistakes we made were a kind of learning episode that contributed to building the character we each have now - if it were not so, we would all be the same, always with the ability to go back and fix whatever it was we did to get back on a path unscathed, most likely dictated by society and our own personal constraints.

If we could all go back and redo choices, trails, change paths, we would all be living perfect lives - even more so: we would be much less diligent in making decisions, because we could always click on the undo button, living life inconsequentially. And without consequences, there are no lessons. Goodbye, reasoning. Goodbye, evolution. Goodbye, adrenaline. Goodbye, stories to tell your grandchildren. Goodbye advice to pass on to your next of kin. Goodbye, interesting biographies. Goodbye, conversation starters. Goodbye, humanness in us.

Perhaps the ideal question is not what one would do with it, but if it would even be interesting to have it (the so-called undo button): doing a Ctrl-Z to any situation implies not creating a thick skin for a future similar situation that may present itself. "So what? That would be perfect, we would never be sad, sorry, distraught ever again ...".

Well, but for that there is already an undo button: choosing to be happy. Fix things and move on. Happiness is a choice. And the best undo button we have.