If only I had a crystal ball I’d be tempted to look up the next week’s Tattslotto numbers. After that, I’d toss the crystal ball out.

Notice how I didn’t say I’d use it for world peace? That’s not because I don’t care, but human nature being what it is, it’s an impossible ask.  Anticipate a war and even if you can convince people to stop, something will give elsewhere. War is like the Lernean Hydra, cut off one head and many more will sprout. History is littered with wars: big ones, small ones, itty bitty in between ones. And the present is no exception. Thousands of asylum seekers are fleeing wars and no end in sight. I’m not saying peace would be impossible, but peace needs each and every one of us to decide there is no justifying war or accepting it or allowing ourselves to be desensitised by its frequency, which I suspect is what we are currently doing. I grew two human beings. It took eighteen months altogether, and then I spent decades raising them. To experts they would be useful only as expendables to be sacrificed for the good of the bigger picture. Experts see humans as statistics, not individuals with a history and a life worth living before a gun deprived them of that life. War is uncivilised but I don’t think a crystal ball will change that.

Sometime in the 80s every little boy had a cap gun or water pistol. Parents decided that even such benign toys would desensitise their children to the effects of violence and guns were banned. You can still buy toy guns, and rightly so, it’s your choice, but they aren’t as popular as they once were which proves that individuals taking positive action are able to effect a change.

On a personal level, I know that if I had a crystal ball I would be tempted to change my personal history. I’d probably begin by checking out the big events that I should avoid or finding out ones that I need to actively pursue in order to be happier or more successful. Then I’d work on the smaller ones, and end by not moving an inch without checking every single moment of every single day. I would drive myself demented. I believe that fate isn’t a given, that you can change yourself from within if you work at it, but you’d have to recognise who you were and be willing to change things before you could do it. If you had a crystal ball you would be too busy to waste the sort of time needed to do a good job of it.

As I said, if only I had a crystal ball I’d be tempted to look up the next week’s Tattslotto numbers. After that, I’d toss the crystal ball out.

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