If you exhaust all of your options for fun or challenging mental exercises, I have one that may be educational as well as entertaining. It occurred to me that it might be quite an experience to have one minute, no more and no less, with every person whom you have known. In order to make it more meaningful, the list would not include chance meetings on a train or bus. They would be people with whom you had spent a year or more.
The presentation can take at least two forms. First, you could do it alphabetically. Anderson would precede Brown and Brown would precede Carmichael, etc. The revisit mechanism that I am envisioning would present all of your contacts, in linear alphabetic order.
Another logical pattern would be chronological. We could begin at kindergarten and allow your minute with every adult whom you encountered from the age of five, to the present.
Now that the logistics are in place, here are a few thoughts to consider. With the advantage of years since you met and shared space with these people, what would you say? Would you want or need the interaction to be positive or illuminating? Or in some cases, would you want to tell this person how you really feel after many years of having considered those feelings?
From my standpoint, a number of outcomes materialize. This would be an opportunity to tell a high school English teacher that his passion and energy resulted in my most important life paths. It would also enable me to tell my first love that I understand why our relationship ended but my feelings never changed. And most profoundly, it would provide a means to tell my cherished mom how much strength I have derived from her wisdom.
Fill in your own blanks. What would you say to someone who wronged you and would it constitute forgiveness or one last epithet? And what expectations do you have of those who now have another minute with you?
Although the likelihood of this magic wand episode is non-existent, it’s a tantalizing thought. A critical component is the one-minute limit. For those who don’t believe in eternal life after death, one-time brief communication could be a golden gift. Shalom.