Tuesday, January 10

The Answer To If Is The Answer To Life

If is an important word in our lives. If we hadn't have been at such and such a place, at a specific time, we may never have met our wife / husband / business partner and so on.  There are probably many such examples within our own lives of ifs that have brought us to wherever we are now.

These ifs may have allowed us positive benefits or the opposite.  But imagine if certain people had never lived, or had died young, then our world may well have been a very different place to what it is today. Okay, all of us effect or influence the world in some way, but some much more than others. Take Adolf Hitler for example.

In Passau, Germany it is known that a young Adolf Hitler, who couldn't swim and needed glasses, was saved from drowning when only four years old. The story has recently come to light again from a German archive.

It appears that in 1894 Hitler was plucked from the icy waters of the River Inn in Passau.  There is a story from the Donauzeltung-Danube newspaper that verifies this, though describes Hitler as a 'young fellow' rather than by name.

The report describes how a 'determined comrade' (it was a very left wing publication!) went into freezing water to save the four year old boy after he he had fallen through thin ice on the river.  He would otherwise have drowned.

It has since be suggested that a priest, Johann Kuehberger, was the man who saved the terrified young Hitler.

Stories like this raise all sorts of almost opposing questions.  If Hitler had drowned would there have been a second world war?  Or was the 1939-45 conflict destined to happen regardless?

We often read stories of how someone lives against all the odds, when perhaps others have been killed.  I've always though that this person was saved because they still had a purpose to fulfil on Earth.  Others will say it was a pure chance coincidence.

I also wrote a post about how there may also be a time to die: Is There A Time To Die As Well As A Time To Live?

But what determines who dies and when?  Maybe it's dependent  on what our life's purpose was pre-ordained to be. Were we destined to be a tyrant or a hero? Or more likely something in between, in varying degrees.

So who controls all of the ifs which brought us to where we are now? Is it some higher power or our own mind, or unconscious, interpreting our individual thoughts, deeds and actions?

I guess it's up to us as individuals to form our own answers to the many questions of life. We'll have all sorts of influences as we meander through life but our own conclusions are the ones to trust.  If we don't think for ourselves there is a danger that someone else will do this for us, and our personal freedoms will disappear - and then we'll be left with if only ...

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  1. Some deep thoughts Mike,and it's always good to ponder such things,but from down here on earth you can literally send yourself crazy with questions like " how big is the universe?
    How long does time go on for?
    When did it start?
    Does my bum look too big in this ?-) "

    It's probably better to go with the flow and utter this prayer on a daily basis;

    Protect me from knowing what I don't need to know. Protect me from even knowing that there are things to know that I don't know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about. Amen. ~Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless

    P.S. That reminds me.
    The answer to the meaning of life...if you were wondering is 42.
    Douglas Adams was a very smart man .-)

  2. A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it. ~Jean de La Fontaine

    Alas, by the time Fate caught up with my life, Chance had it all planned. ~Robert Brault

    Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. ~Steve Jobs

    Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant, filled with odd waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don't always like. ~Lemony Snicket

    Fate, Chance, God's Will - we all try to account for our lives somehow. What are the chances that two raindrops, flung from the heavens, will merge on a windowpane? Gotta be Fate. ~Robert Brault

  3. When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice. ~William James

    The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn. ~David Russell

    Do not plant your dreams in the field of indecision, where nothing ever grows but the weeds of "what-if." ~Dodinsky

    To decide is to walk facing forward with nary a crick in your neck from looking back at the crossroads. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon

    Decisions become easier when your will to please God outweighs your will to please the world. ~Anso Coetzer

    Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions. ~Author Unknown

    To me faith means not worrying. ~John Dewey

    Faith makes things possible, not easy. ~Author Unknown

    Of course I doubt. I do not practice a certainty. I practice a faith. ~Robert Brault

    Faith is raising the sail of our little boat until it is caught up in the soft winds above and picks up speed, not from anything within itself, but from the vast resources of the universe around us. ~W. Ralph Ward

    As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit. ~Emmanuel

    In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't. ~Blaise Pascal

    Sometimes, as practice for trying to convince myself that God exists, I try to convince my shadow that the sun exists. ~Robert Brault

    Sorry,I felt like baking a batch of fortune cookies tonight.
    Bon Appétit.

  4. Love IF...

    Great collection of quotes, Darren!

    I often consider "What if.." while creating stories. The other question is, "What's at stake?" In Hitler's case, the only thing at stake was the life of a 4 yr old boy.

  5. What if is a great premise for fiction and for life!
    Terrific post!
    Wv storm!

  6. Thanks all for the comments and Darren for all of those quotes, very interesting. I've heard before that the meaning of life is 42 - oh, and that's a good prayer. But I don't think I'll ever stop wondering as to what it's all about!