To the future with regret

Everyone should be familiar with the term “butterfly effect”. This concept was proposed by the meteorologist Lorenz in 1963. He also has a classic analogy: “A butterfly in the tropical rainforest of South America, occasionally flapping its wings, can cause a tornado in Texas, USA two weeks later.”

This is the same as what we often say of “moving the whole body by pulling one’s heart”: a small move can have a big impact.

With this understanding, I opened this film and thought a little bit more. “Butterfly Effect” tells the story of college student Ivan who travels through time and space and wants to change the past. Ivan has always been haunted by painful childhood memories, these fragmented memories entangled and cannibalized his heart like a black hole. The psychiatrist encouraged him to record what happened in a diary. One day, he accidentally discovered that this diary could take him back to the past.

Slowly, the missing memories spread in Ivan’s mind, and he discovered that his mistakes in the past had caused the people around him to embark on a completely different life. So he decided to go back to the past with the memory of adult Ivan and make up for all the mistakes by changing key behaviors. However, every change across time and space, like that butterfly flapping wings in South America, eventually led to an even more unacceptable ending for him.

In fact, this movie has multiple endings, and the director’s cut version I watched is the more cruel one of the many endings. In this version of the story, Ivan chose to make himself never born in this world. Only in this way can his relatives, lovers and friends be protected from harm.

In the vastness of time and space, each of us is not only a “person” of biological significance, but also a person of sociological significance. At the sociological level, our identity is made up of various relationships. You may be someone’s child, friend, or father or mother. This is also the starting point for Ivan to always want to rewrite his destiny: to save his loved ones from illness, to let his lover reap happiness, and to let his friends live a normal life… However, film is the art of dreaming, whether it is to make up for regrets, or to fill in the gaps. After all, it is a kind of image presentation. In real life, we have no chance to go back to the past and choose again.

Many people have asked me: If I had a chance to come back, would I still choose my current life and career? My answer is: yes. Even if you lose something, don’t you have any regrets in your life just how you choose? Instead of fantasizing about other endings, try to live the present. Our greatest expectation for the future was originally to move towards a better unknown with regrets.