I have a friend who recently told me about “Schrodinger’s Cat”…a thought exercise developed by Erwin Schrodinger in1935. Using theories of quantum mechanics which I will not even pretend to understand nor extrapolate upon here, Schrodinger proposed a theoretical experiment wherein a cat is placed in a sealed box with a vial of lethal acid. If the vial breaks, the cat will be killed, but if the vial does not break, the cat will remain alive. The observer, who cannot see inside the box, does not know if the vial has been broken and, consequently, whether the cat is dead or alive. According to Schrodinger, the cat is both dead and alive at the same time until the box is opened and the fate of the cat is determined.
You may wonder what thoughts about quantum mechanics and cats in boxes have to do with preparing to embark on a 3-month long peace fellowship in Nepal. My friend, in a very sage-like manner, described the paradox of Schrodinger’s cat to me to explain the way she tries to resist the impulse to contemplate the possible outcomes of events in her life that have not yet happened. As much as we may try to predict the nature of future events, we cannot know what it will be until they actually happen. As much as my mind is spinning with all of the what-ifs that I may encounter in Nepal, I am continually reminding myself of this. The best I can do to prepare for my upcoming travel is to arrive armed with a video camera and capture the moments when what-ifs evaporate into events that unfold in entirely unexpected ways and confound all speculation.
If you are interested in witnessing moments when circumstances baffle my greatest expectations, be sure to watch for upcoming videos and podcasts
Posted By Heather Gilberds
Posted May 23rd, 2008