One does not simply make wishes to a genie. An ill-defined wish could really be the end of you. Imagine wishing for the ability to breath fire only to burn your insides out in the process. There are two main concerns when wishing for a power from a genie. Firstly, regardless of the genie’s actions you must put considerable thought into how the power is executed because the genie is not a mind reader. Secondly, the genie could use any loopholes to make today your last day on Earth, and that is certainly not a favorable outcome. Call me mistrusting, but making a wish gives the genie a lot of power in changing my life. I’m not going to do so without taking necessary precautions.
If I could wish for a super power, it would be teleportation. Here is where specificity comes in. I don’t want a machine or fancy shoes, or to randomly end up in Timbuktu instead of Paris. It’s funny how simply asking for the power of teleportation doesn’t guarantee the arrival at a certain destination. I could end up in the Mariana Trench and there’s certainly no way I would swim my way out of that one (deepest point in the ocean). So my clever genie, I have crafted a recipe for you. I wish for the power to teleport by instantly blinking to a location of my choice by simply thinking of it and transferring my entire mind and body to that specified location in the process. Will that work? I certainly hope so.
Teleportation would solve so many problems. Firstly I could see my parents and family members in an instant. One simple thought and I’m out of my college dorm room and into my house. Does that make me a commuter now? Then my cousins and grandparents who live in distant places, no problemo. Had a rough day at work? Next thing you know I’m sitting in the grassy fields below the alps. There are so many places I would rather be, but in this messy room right now. One little motion and it’s taken care of.
I’ve thought about how teleportation compares against other super powers. I guess you could start to categorize powers by intention. Teleportation falls under the utility/personal satisfaction category. If you wanted power you could take mind control where you not only hear, but also manipulate other people’s thoughts. Or if brute strength is your kind of power, turn yourself into a real life Wolverine. What about kindness? You could wish for peace and happiness to surround you at command…or would that make life mundane.
I choose teleportation for several reasons. If I choose to, I could be extremely discrete about it. For example, I could tell my mom I’m taking the train home, but in reality I’m reading a book until it’s time to teleport. The second the world knows I can teleport, the UN may hunt me down to efficiently ship grains of rice to poor people around the world. Call me selfish, but no thank you. One of the problems with having a super power, is other people will want to leach off your benefits. I don’t think it’s the best idea to let others know the truth. Even my mother could start complaining that I don’t come home enough when it’s so easy to do so with my newfound powers. So nobody has to know about my ability to teleport if I choose to have it that way; I just save so much more time.
The next thing to think about is quality of life. For me being Wolverine doesn’t make my life that much better. I accidentally destroy my belongings in fits of rage and I can be tortured past the point of death only to regenerate myself and live on. Teleportation solves so many quality of life issues. If someone is trying to mug me, I just run a bit and then teleport away. Any normal person would have a hard time thinking I actually teleported away. So on the safety front I’m covered because I’m hard to catch. Now for the positive aspects, this should be a no brainer that the list is endless. I could be in Tokyo for lunch and Delhi for dinner, experience the unknown reaches of the Antarctic (briefly), or attend concerts across the globe. With a little bit of planning hopefully no one will know. I took the train home, not the blink express.
This may never be used, but it is important to consider how any power changes the world. Honestly, teleportation solves so many economic problems, even though in this case there is the constraint of only one person being able to teleport. There are limits to what one person can accomplish. For example, there is enough food in the world to feed all the people who inhabit it, but distribution problems cause starvation. So on some scale I could try to mitigate that or any other distribution related problem. I could deliver medicine to remote areas without facilities or provide blankets to the homeless. In some ways I can’t predict the constraints of my power. Is it mentally taxing to teleport? I did say I have to think about where I want to teleport. Imagine furiously teleporting sacks of rice from a food bank to an arid land suffering from drought. Does that require an impossible level of concentration or is that as easy as walking? Who knows. All I know is that teleportation can be used for the greater good if I so choose.
What is your super power of choice and how would you wish for it? Also feel free to point out any loopholes in how I defined my wish. I really would like to avoid drowning in the Mariana Trench.
Would there be a case where you wish for something other than a super power? I didn’t touch on this here, but that is an interesting thought. I always assumed a super power is what I want. Funny how that is inherently selfish and this post is blatantly selfish. Spoken like an economist.