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Does The World Really Need Another Blog?


     Let's assume, for the sake of argument (and I'm not trying to start one), that you could be anyone else in the world than who you are, living or dead.
     Who would it be?
     I'm not suggesting that you would abandon the family that raised you, or the loves and friendships you currently enjoy. I'm simply curious: could you imagine yourself as somebody else, rather than who you are right now, someone you admire, respect, envy, whatever, even if only for a day?
     In short, if you could be somebody else, who would it be?
     I know how I'd answer that question, both in the positive and the negative.
     On the positive side, if given the choice (and I know this is cheating), I'd come back in the next life as some combination of two people: Levon Helm and Ryan Sandberg.
     First, Levon.
     Born in Arkansas, he brought a southern sensibility to The Band, a group made up of mostly Canadians. As the drummer and one of the main vocalists, Levon's rhythm and southern accent gave The Band the rural/rock/folk sound (they call it "Americana" now) that made them, in my mind, the greatest North American band of all time. And, as someone whose people on my mother's side came from West Virginia, I felt a certain kinship with Levon, and would've relished trading places with him.
     Okay, so I'm greedy. I'd also want to squeeze in a baseball career as Ryne Sandberg, the Hall of Fame, power hitting second basemen for the Chicago Cubs. Not only did he play the same position I did as a Little Leaguer, the man is drop dead gorgeous!
    But wait. Is there any downside to this thought experiment? If you were to be reborn as someone else, who would you NOT want to be.
     I won't name names—the list would be too long—but there are certain groups of people whose lives, if it were up to me, I might not wish to exchange for mine.
     They might include, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone following the ongoing Republican/Evangelical/White Nationalist attempts to deny history and change the future: Persons of Color, Women, Jews, Muslims and anyone who self-identifies as LGBTQ+.
     It's not that the lives of these folks are in any way lacking in meaning, love, creativity, or any other attribute we might associate with a positive experience. It's simply a rational (perhaps cowardly?) decision on my part not to put myself in their shoes, not to face the daily struggles they do to simply exist, to live the life of freedom that we, their family and friends, take for granted.
     So, that's my take on the possibility of a second chance at life.
     Think it over and tell me, who would you be if you could change places with anyone in the world?

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