Advantage of Foresight

You’ve been granted the power to predict the future! The catch — each time you use your power, it costs you one day (as in, you’ll live one day less). How would you use this power, it at all?

Damn, this would make a really great premise for a novel or a movie. I’m thinking maybe of a hero who feels that he/she needs to save everyone who is in any kind of mortal danger, selflessly giving up the days of his/her life one by one in order to save the people he/she loves.

I would not play the hero. Although we all like to think of ourselves as heroes and heroines every once in a while, it is a fantasy. There really are selfless people out there, but not to the extreme degree that you can see in superhero stories. I like to think of myself as someone who can make sacrifices for the people I love, but here’s my lame excuse for not going on a sight-seeing rampage: After a short while, my minutes would be up and there I’d be, somewhere in a ditch. Utterly useless. 

Oh, wow. I completely forgot about how I could definitely just look into the future and win a gazillion bucks from the lottery and feed starving children. Nope, nope, too cliche. For this post’s purposes, we are looking specifically at the ability to predict the future in order to save the neighborhood kiddies from car accidents and whatnot.

Going back to the utterly useless bit, though, I really would be. One cannot save the world single-handedly, and this flawed superpower is a very nice portrayal of this fact. *LOST SPOILER ALERT* This is also reminding me of that part of Lost where Desmond constantly tries to save Charlie, even though he knows that Charlie has to die soon eventually. He puts himself into harm’s way just to postpone the inevitable, and doesn’t end up saving Charlie. It might seem noble at the time, but in the end it doesn’t do much good at all. With that belief in mind, it’s hard for me to think about metaphorically throwing myself in front of a bus every time I think someone might be in danger. But am I selfish and unloving? The world may never know.

For a definite answer, then, I’ll say that yes, I would use this painful superpower, but no, I would not use it terribly often. I don’t have a death wish. I’d use it when I think it’s absolutely necessary, and yes I would want to use it to be a hero and save my friends and family, but hey, we only die once. I’m not going to shave a sliver off my life to save you from a scrape or bruise.

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