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We’re I twenty again, would I do differently?

Twentyone (192x250)By Jaime Pimentel – THE thought comes to me more often as I grow older: What would I do differently were I young again? If I were 10 years old, or 20, or 40? Or even 50, 60, or 70 years?

I’m not alone, it appears.

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines and Virgin Group, was asked on the Internet what he would do if he went back in time as a 22-year-old.

“We all deserve a second chance,” Branson wrote. “Next time you have the opportunity to give somebody their second chance, don’t think twice.”

Asked the same question, Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, wrote: “If I could go back in time, I’d introduce my 22-year-old self to a quotation by the writer Brian Andreas: ‘Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in her life’.”

I think they say a lot about growing wiser as one grows older.

My youth was spent mostly on distractions, mainly material distractions, and what we now refer to as ‘selfies’.

I went for a strange collection of toys. My favourite as a 13-year-old was a home-made slingshot tucked in my hip pocket. The big deal was to score a bird, which neighbourhood machos regarded as equivalent to winning the bantamweight boxing championship of San Juan, Rizal.

But when I scored one, a yellow-breasted Maya from 50 metres to a tree top, it turned me off the weapon completely.

Wearing good clothes, at least those I could afford, became my passion as a young man. At the time, I thought that owning my first car, a banged-up circa1940s Chevrolet jalopy in the1960s, was my ultimate triumph.

All that gave way to a smart portable Olivetti typewriter, stylish belts, hats, Parker pens – and a gold-plated Bulova wrist watch after college.

I had always fancied owning a home for my family, one that would serve me well on retirement. Unfortunately, raising a big family had become my overriding distraction, but the one that developed into the ultimate and proudest achievement of my life.

But I’m happy standing in a long queue for Housing.

I must say that through my journey to seniorhood I gathered a lot of moss, enough to feed my soul with gladness and a great sense of achievement.

What would I do differently were I to go back in time today at aged 20?

Frankly, nuttin’.

This is the life God gave me, warts and all. Why should I know any better?