Recently the folks at The Daily Post threw out the idea “What do you wish you had 300 of?” for a topic to write on. Their inspiration was simple. It was the Daily Post’s 300 suggested post (300th day for their 2011 daily writing challenge on Nov. 8).
The question stuck in my head. My mind started wondering about the oddity of what I would like 300 of. The number is so random, and relatively small.
At first I thought, I could always use more cash, but $300 is so small. Perhaps 300 lottery tickets? The odds are still stacked so much against me. Three hundred pounds of gold bullion?
The last would net a tidy sum of $8,597,280 at gold’s current value of $1,791.10 an ounce. Not a bad take away, and very difficult to pass up if approached by some magic grantor of 300 of something.
Of course explaining how I got that much gold might be difficult to explain to authorities, or place me in some shady places with money laundered.
Plus, I am a man of nuance.
Three hundred of something, anything. Surely there would be something of greater value to wish for 300 of.
My immediate thought turned to kisses, more importantly romantic kisses (ooh, la, la) with one person. Of course if this wish were granted, so my thinking goes, the universe would be forced to introduce me to her, the one, the love of my life. This would lead to life of hash marks and weighing the right time for each kiss to savor — the premise for a fantastic novel, I think. The sweetness and anguish would be so rich.
Then I stopped. Would I be selling myself short with 300 kisses? Is there scientific evidence for how many times a couple kisses in their life time? The only decipherable Google hit I could come up with was through ChaCha, which is not very scientific at all, but the only basis I had to rely upon in my online search. I must say how the number was created, length of relationship, type of relationship(s) and other factors are in no way laid out.
For point of reference though, here is what Cha Cha threw out for the number of kisses one gives/receives in a lifetime:
The average person will get/give about 150,000 kisses and spend an estimated 20,160 minutes kissing in their lifetime. ChaCha!
(That last part, the ChaCha! was part of the answer, no kidding.)
This given answer, this minimal basis for the number of kisses, would definitely mean I sold myself and my love short. (Of course it’s been quite a while since I kissed any woman, hence the topic, and the possible immediate benefit of this wish-fulfillment.) On the other hand though, the limitation would put such a premium on the kiss that I would be forced to value one of life’s best little pleasures that so often get’s taken for granted. (Ever actually pause to wonder mid-kiss if this might be the last one between you and your significant other? See what I mean?)
And since every yin has its yang this thought of limitation with 300 led me to consider the opposite, vast expansion of an assumed quantity.
What if I were granted 300 lifespans to live? Of course I’d probably want to be somewhat specific about this if I could.
For the simplest terms I would go with the typical lifespan for most Euro-American men as of 2005 (the most recent number I could find). That would be 75.2 years. And yes that number is making it very simple since environment, gender, personal habits, and genetics all give to human longevity.
If given 300 full 75.2 years to live that would mean I’d have about 22,425 years ahead of me (that’s subtracting the 35 years I already spent on this earth).
For perspective, this span is about half of the time since the first appearance of modern man if we look back on that time. It is also the same time of the great Ice Age and the Bering Strait was a land bridge (more of a continent really) that hadn’t even begun to ferry across Native American’s to the “New World.”
So, I really couldn’t image going forward. How could I? What would I see in those three hundred life times? How would humanity change? Would it still exist? Would it be a wonderful experience or disastrous? Looking at the state we’re in, I’m imagining probably a bit of both.
Beyond that, what good could I accomplish? What new meaning and definition would accomplishment even take on? What mischief could I have? How lonely would it be, an observer, yet participant of living, for that long?
The number of kisses to be hand would be astronomical, along with the potential of money to be earned.
Honestly, this 300 seems the most tempting, complex, scare, exciting, lonely, and exhilarating.
Twenty-two thousand years to live, to re-invent oneself, to perhaps see the effects you actually have on the lives around you, because you’d not only observe those lives but the lives of children, grandchildren, and beyond for those you effect.
And to be present, 22,000 years in the future to marvel at how humanity and the world has changed? Sort of exhilarating, especially if humanity doesn’t manage to snuff itself out, or be snuffed by some cosmic event.
Of course there is also a bit of apprehension and fear involved in having to live those 22K years. What would that involve? How much pain, loss, boredom, etc?
Thinking of pain and the displeasure living sometimes brings turned me to my last option for “What do you wish you had 300 of.” (Well, this is the last one I wish to write about, because really, I probably could write about 300 things I wish I had 300 of if I had the inclination.)
The last one would be what if I had 300 people I could save from true anguish and pain? Abused children, those murdered or tortured or victimized. Isn’t the typical hero motif “if I can save just one life!” compelling?
I think of this after all the conversation surround the Penn State sex abuse scandal that is still taking shape. All those people who never turned to the police to report that abuse of a child . . .
This option sort of sounds both great and horrifying. Save 300 innocent victims from something awful! Then followed up with save only three hundred lives, hardly a dint on all the lives worth being saved or protected in an hour of one given day around the world. How would you begin to decide?
My brain stops going down that road pretty quickly. It’s really too sad, and this is only a game of pretend. And I start to wonder, perhaps if I were given the option that $8 million wouldn’t be too bad. I could do a lot with that. Or, like my favorite fictional character, perhaps with 22,000 years of roaming the world I could help others, more than just simply saving 300.
What do you wish you had 300 of?