That’s the short answer.
Bryn gave me the writing prompt of “if you could go back in time and change anything without revealing the future, what would it be?” Her example was Claire Fraser not being able to tell everyone she was from the future, but she could treat sick people with homegrown antibiotics, or tell them when to plant the correct crops, or magically knowing that she and the fam don’t have to go home, but they can’t stay here.
Because she was thinking world events, so was I. It became a Doctor Who moment for me, because I realized that no matter where I went, I’d be Jesus somewhere else. I’d be that person who tried to change things by taking care of people on a large scale, saying things that would upset people but also make them think. But I’d do it through someone else. I don’t want power, but I’m great as a backup singer/spin doctor. All it would take would be getting close to someone in actual power early on so that I can get in before the wire; many, many, many factors go into how people behave and I do not want to be the one standing there without any heuristics on mood and behavior when bad things happen. I don’t want to go back in time and start CIA during the Civil War, I want to go back to the meeting where everyone decided that Africans weren’t people. I would encourage people who actually asked themselves why they thought skin color mattered. I’d check out who was willing to talk and who wasn’t, and pick someone who I knew could change things and I’d help them. It’s the way Jesus did it. He focused on himself and the Disciples and it translated into helping the world in both tangible and intangible ways. He prayed to God, but he wasn’t ivory tower. He was sandals.
The emotional strength he portrayed wasn’t all him. He was preparing the way for something bigger.
Jesus is the main character in the story right now, but who knows whether the Disciples were better or worse at preaching than him? Was Peter better than Jesus when he was having a bad day? Who knows. All I mean is that I do not have a Messianic complex. It’s that of all those people, Jesus and I have the most in common. It has nothing to do with me wanting to be a Christ figure. If I was more like Thomas, I would tell you that instead. I don’t just know Christ, I know them all. That’s what you get from years and years of new criticism. Personalities emerge and you absolutely know that it’s fiction because you can’t infer that much about their mannerisms and habits. You read every single time with new ideas coming at you because several authors have disagreed with each other and you had to go and look it up. Very few people study Biblical geography when the setting is one of the main characters. It’s a very dry humor. They’re desert people.
I would have been happy with any character in that story, hoping not to deny that I was his friend and standing tall through my own ministry and crucifixion or being boiled in oil or whatever. Anywhere anyone is challenging the system, I’d want to be there.
I would try to change world events by becoming close to the right people at the right time so that I could counsel them away from the thing that they’re about to do…. A Doctor Who moment because I’d have an inner TARDIS that knew which problem needed me most.
The trick would be showing up early enough in a person’s life to make a massive difference in their personalities. I’m not the kind of person that will solve all your problems in five minutes. I’m the person that genuinely cares and wants what’s best for you, but it takes time to build that relationship. It’s peeling away our public armor when we talk if we’ve known each other a hundred years. By then, we have our own language because we’ve probably already been through all the ways it can be misinterpreted once or twice.
Jesus got power by influencing those in office, particularly Saul (Paul) and Joseph of Arimethea, yet quietly. Even Pontious Pilate got rattled and knew he was wrong. They heard his message and just happened to be in office. It was never about that for them. It was never about that for him, either. I’d do the same thing with the world’s most advanced intelligence agency. What it would be like to start CIA and keep it up from the time that kind of travel was possible. so that we as a country didn’t bomb the shit out of people? Because war hawks aren’t made overnight. We’ve had a long history of getting what we want. We’d be the Doctor Who of the world instead of the colonizers. They fight enemies by collating dossiers on every race they encounter and give everyone the benefit of the doubt. They don’t even have a gun.
I would want that for the US or for whatever country I was in. Just to be able to affect change with information and not violence. I’m the medium smart anti-hero who actively knows they’re too smart for some and too dumb for others. I want to find other people on that wavelength people are actually counting on, and have a mechanism that tells me to go where I am needed the most. The more emotionally safe people feel, the more you can direct change. That’s because it happens when you’re doing something else.