I would travel back to biblical times, to early civilizations. I’m not nostalgic about it, but I think I could learn from it. For the most part, life would be hard. And I have no romantic notions of what it was like for women: to own no real property of your own, to have to be completely subservient to the men of the household, to face the threat of ostracism or death for displeasing the wrong person. And everyone faced harsher times, greater threat of starvation, and greater chances of succumbing to disease.
But, for a short period, it would also be refreshing to go somewhere where we’re not surrounded by things. We live surrounded by so much abundance, but we (or I, at least) almost never see it. If I were to sit down and try to count every little item that I own personally, it would probably take days. Yet, I don’t feel I have that much – certainly less than others. And when I go shopping, there are always things I can find to desire.
It just makes me wonder: what would it be like to look around me and see that all the items I own were ones I made with my own hands? What would it be like if I had only one, or at most, two outfits to wear, instead of changing clothes every day? (I’d certainly spend less time in front of the mirror trying to decide what to wear.) What would it be like to grow my own food, raise my own cattle, harvest and slaughter and cook, with my own two hands? (True, I don’t necessarily need to go back in time to do that…but I would, to enter a state where there were no other options.)
And I think, what would it be like to have family not only be the center but also be your entire universe? To have your days filled with common chores. To have all your aunts and sisters and cousins around you working together to make things. What would it be like to create everything we consume?
In part, I think it would be powerful, empowering, humbling, and lovely. But I also think it would really make me appreciate what I do have when I came back to this time and this place. I do appreciate what I have on some levels, but this would add a whole new dimension.
Maybe we can no longer really live in a place where we create everything we consume. But it might be worthwhile to try to create more than we consume. Or, at the very least, be more mindful of how much we consume versus how much we create. I hope when I do leave this earth, I’ll not have just used, but I’ll also have given. I hope, when I leave, I leave behind something worth the space I have taken.
What would you do, if you could travel in time?
You can respond in any way you choose. You can give a fictional response or a true one. You can use words, sentences, and/or photographs. If you have a blog, you can link it with Mr. Linky below. Please be sure to include “Tell It To Me Tuesdays” in the post, and link back to this post. Feel free to use the “Tell It To Me Tuesday” button available to the right. If you don’t have a blog, but want to join in, you can just leave a comment. Please follow the rules. I don’t want to have to delete links. I like links! Don’t make me delete them.
Next week’s challenge: My worst fear and its consequences
FOR A MILLION EXTRA BONUS POINTS: If you want to take on an extra challenge, try to write a story in which you don’t tell us explicitly what your worst fear is, but you play out in your head and through words what would happen if your worst fear was realized. We just might surprise ourselves with what we find here.