Stop the World – I Want to Get Off is a musical with a book, music, and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley. Set against the backdrop of a circus, it focuses on Littlechap, whose first major step towards improving his lot is to marry Evie, his boss' daughter. Saddled with the responsibilities of a family, he allows his growing dissatisfaction with his existence to lead him into the arms of various women—Russian Anya, German Ilse, and American Ginnie—as he searches for something better than he has, only to realize in the twilight of his life what he always had—the love of his wife— was more than enough to sustain him. (Wikipedia)
"Stop the World!" Ever just want to say that? Wish you had the power to stop, everything around you, take a breath, gather your thoughts and then start the world again? Back in High School I was involved in the Drama group, (yes, that's right go ahead and laugh) not as an actor but as a Stage Manager and Technical Director. We did this play (see poster below) and since then I have always imagined having this ability; just yell out "Stop the World!" and everything would freeze.
Now keep in mind this ability is not so you could stop the world and exhibit dishonest behavior, it would simply allow for more time to reflect. Looking back now I could see how this power could be used. It would have given me more time to think before I spoke, more time to think about the answer to a test, more time to see if the glass was half full or half empty. I guess it would have just given me more time. A few more minutes between actions to reflect. How would the world be different if say our politicians had this power; to take a moment and think before acting. How would you use this power?
Unlike Littlechap, I am not dissatisfied with anything in my life. However, I sure we can all agree, there have been a few times where it would have been nice to take a breath and shout "STOP THE WORLD!" I suspect that these "stop the world" moments come during those crossways in our lives when we need to make a significant decision and, when reflecting back, would have liked more time to think about it. One of mine came during college when I changed my major from Theatre Arts to Landscape Architecture and then a third time to Environmental Management. As you might imagine the theatre high school experience really impacted me. I really enjoyed working behind the stage and would have (should have) stayed, but other people influenced my thinking and I made a decision to switch (should have talked to my mother, but that will be a future story). I don't regret the decision because it has led me down another path that has brought me to where I am today, but it would have been good to have had a "stop the world" moment here, taken out the emotional parts of the decision and thought about it a little longer. I am sure we can all come up with a few "stop the world" moments, however there are times when even this power can't help. When I was diagnosed with cancer, stopping the world would not have helped. There was no decision to be made, the cancer had to be treated; it was inevitable. It's these time one just needs to keep on going and never look back.
Everyone is faced with decision making everyday and unless you are special and have this power, we make decisions based on the information we have, our emotions and input from other people around us. We can't stop the world, but we can slow down, take time and make the best decisions we can. Next time your faced with a decision, whether its life changing or just a little one, whisper to yourself "Stop the World" and take some extra time to reflect.