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March 9th, 2022

If you were to meet the child who you once were, how would you feel? To what degree are we still the children we once were? Surely the difference is so drastic that it should seem a bit weird to equate it all as the same person. But of course, there’s a single uninterrupted link between that kid and the person that kid has become. 


What about a drastic change in outlook, perspective and mentality? These happen for better or worse to many people. Can we say that the person after such a change is still the same person? If they think and act differently, why do we put so much credit in the idea that what is unchanged is their physical look - their body. It easier to do this when it’s other people, but what about yourself? Only the most foolish people look back on their past selves and don’t have a complicated set of emotions ranging from embarrassment to bittersweet compassion. 


What about who you will be tomorrow? Or in three years from now? With these kinds of thought experiments, it’s always tempting to think about sharing secret knowledge. Oh if only I could tell my 18 year old self this or that!


But what about the other way around? If your 18 year old self had a chance to tell you something, what would they say?


What would you want to say to the person you’ll be in 3 years from now?


It seems odd at first. Any current thought automatically get’s communicated to that future self, doesn’t it?


Well, anyone who has kept a journal for any length of time will often have the very bizarre experience of going back sufficiently far and reading words they don’t remember writing, and having different opinions, and it can even be so drastic that it seems like a totally different person wrote it.


Fact is, we probably change a lot more than we realize. It’s a bit like when you physically grow. Looking in the mirror every day makes it seem like nothing is changing because the change is so small. How much of the same is true for the mind? As our thoughts and opinions shift - do we notice?


It’s interesting to wonder: what about who you are now do you hope will persist as you change into the person you’ll become?

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