There is a movie called Back to the Future that stars Michael J Fox as a character named Marty McFly.  Marty comes from a family of “Geeks” because of something his Dad (George McFly) did or did not do when he was in High School.   Marty gets that chance to go back in time with the help of Dr. Emmett Brown (played by Christopher Lloyd).  In the process he encourages his Dad to stand up to Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson).  Because of this one change, when Marty returns home, his life is totally different because of the self confidence that George now has because of his confrontation with Biff.

Is there anything in your life that you wish you could change, that you wonder “if I would of just done this, everything would be different?”

When I was in Jr. High School, I hated Gym class.  I grew fast when I hit Jr. High, and I had a hard time getting my fast growing body to do what I wanted it to do. From the time I was in 6th grade to the time I went to High School, my shoe size went from a 9 to a 13.  I was not very athletic, and had a hard time in gym class.  The only classes that I really did good at involved science or computers.  One day we were playing touch football on the field next to the school.  I was given the position of lineman because I was taller and bigger than most of the boys in my class.  All I knew is that I was suppose to stand in one place, and not let the other kids get to the guy with the ball.  I was protecting the quarterback when one of the other teams players tried to knock me down.  Instead of me going down, he went down and went down hard.  I was just standing there, not knowing what really was happening.  And this kid was now sitting on the field with a look on his face that said, “What was that for.”  I thought nothing of it, and continued to play the game.  When we were in the locker room, this boy came up to me, and without warning hit me square in the face with his fist.  My reaction was that of surprise, and I called him something that was not very nice.  He then hit me in the face again, and then again.  At that point my nose was bleeding, so I just walked away.   I went to the principals office to get my nose taken care of.   Well, we both were suspended from school for the rest of the day and the following day.  When my mother found out about it, she went to the school and the principal told her this.  “I am glad the Michael did not fight back, he would of wasted the boy who hit him.  He is a lot bigger than the other boy.”  He then gave my mother a sob story about how the boy was going through a hard time, his parents were getting divorced, and since he was an A student and I was a C student, it had to of been more to the story.

I have thought about that incident a lot of times.  What in my life would of been different if I would of instead of calling him a name, taken my fist and hit him with it.  Even if it would of been in the stomach.  What would my life be like now, what would my sense of self be?  Would I be more aggressive, and would of played more sports?  Of would if of pushed me over the edge so that I always wanted to fight?

There have also been several movies written where someone tries to fix something they have done in past and have messed up the future by doing so.   We are a collection of our experiences, and by changing any of those experiences, we change who we are.

Today I was listening to the radio and heard a song by Darius Rucker (Sorry Momzoo, I know you still see him as the singer for Hootie and the Blowfish, and not a country singer).  The name of the song is Learn To Live.  The song starts out with a picture of a little boy climbing up on his Grandpa’s knee and listening to stories, the little boy says “and i’d hang onto every word that he would breathe.” In this song, there is one line that hit me hard today.   The grandpa at the end of the song says, “all those mistakes I thought that I was making, led me right here to you sittin’ on my knee.”   We are the result of our mistakes and our triumphs.   Why would we want to change that?  Would we really want to give up who and what we are to do something over?

The chorus of the song is:
We can’t have regrets.   We need to live to learn so that we can learn to live.  We may do some stupid things, but if we pull ourselves up by our boot straps afterwards, those stupid things can give us character and allow us to LEARN to LIVE.

You gotta live to learn
You gotta crash and burn
You gotta make some stances
and take some chances
You gotta live and love
and take all life has to give
You gotta live and learn
You gotta live and learn
so you can LEARN to LIVE
Learn to Live