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If you could trade lives with anyone for just one day, who would it be and why?
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This question has been asked of me before, in other places and other times. I always give it a good think before I answer, because I always marvel at my own certainty that I never want to change lives with anyone. Not since I was a child have I thought this might be amusing or cathartic in some manner. Certainly it would have the capacity to teach, but the likelihood of it being anything but another painful memory is very slim.
That is exactly why I like this question, though. It’s a check in for me. It let’s me know if my depression and anxiety are getting to be too much. It let’s me know that I am in a good place. Unequivocally. For a long time I was not attached to life, though I did not live dangerously in the face of that feeling. But, this certainty hung out with me through all the dark times I ever experienced, and that was how I knew I was okay.
Wanting to be someone else, at least in my assessment, has a lot to do with escaping the self. In some cases, people would like to influence something important (to themselves, others, or the world). When I think of this, I think of how you’d be taking someone’s body from them, in a bizarre form of possession. It would be like rape, or on that level, I assume. The mind of the person, once returned would be touched by the event, forever changing them. They would not trust themselves, their memory, or their form. They would feel like someone had lurked around their home, touching their most intimate things, and having done it for days—years. They would not be able to undo it, but, more importantly, they would not have been able to consent to the use of their body.
I could not do this to another person. And, I hope to God, that no one would do this to me. I’ve been violated verbally and physically, and it is not an injury that truly heals. One is scarred by it, and the permanent trauma manifests without warning. Inflicting that on another human being is an ultimate cruelty.
I’d much rather do whatever it is I feel a need to do as myself. Sure, there is the issue of having on power to accomplish those goals. Thus, I’m facing a lot of wasted time to get into position and place, but that’s the price of not being a monster, and doing things the right way.
That said, there may be a very good reason to take over someone’s life for a day. What if you were placed to stop a murder, or many murders, or other serious crimes? Is the price worth it? What if the person you were putting on like a stocking was apprised and consented? That totally changes the situation, doesn’t it?
For me, though, I would not have an interest in being anyone else.
Let’s hop on over to see what the other authors think about this question…
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