I actually kind of like those survey things which periodically do the rounds on the net, but I find that most of the questions are kind of vacuous and stupid. I have therefore devised my own, which I encourage those reading this to respond to and - if you are so inclined - post in your own journals with appropriate linkage. I'l post my own answers a little later on, so as not to corrupt the process with expectations.
1) If there were any one wrong you have done and could re-write history to have not done it, what would it be?
2) If there were any one historical event which you could change - along with all the consequences proceeding from that change - what would it be?
3) If there was any one public figure you could see get their comeuppance for their misdeeds, who would it be, why, and what form would that take?
4) If there were any three things you could make the entire world understand exactly as you understand them, what would they be?
5) If there were any one creative person who you could make the entire world love and appreciate the works of, who would it be and why?
6) If there were any one creative person you could make the entire world forget and dismiss, who would it be and why?
7) If you could bring back from the dead any one person with no personal connection to you, who would it be and why?
8) If you could make any one change to the physical geography of the world, what would it be and why?
9) If you could make any one work of fiction true, what would it be and why?
10) If you could have any one law rescinded, what would it be and why?
11) If you could have any one law established, what would it be and why?
12) If you could share any one joy of yours with the whole world, what would it be?
Edit: I've been meaning to get around to filling this out for nearly a week now. Blah.
1) I wish that I had visited my father in the hospital more during his final year of life. He was in terrible pain, and I eventually just became weary of going there, having him say nothing but moan in pain and complain. In retrospect, it's clear that he had every right to it... If there were any one thing I could change, any one wrong I could undo, any one regret which pierces my heart more deeply and more often than anything else, it's this. I wish I had been there for him more.
2) I would prevent Ioseph Stalin from becoming the head of the USSR. Various reasons. First, though the USSR was always a flawed system, it was only with Stalin that it became completely monstrous. His absence from history would have resulted in less-awful successors. Secondly, he killed more people than Hitler. This alone would be reason enough. Third, he was so completely horrifying that I feel that if he had not been in charge after WW2, the Americans would have felt less need to compete with the USSR, and the age of American imperialism would have been (and would BE, present tense) less severe.
3) Dick Cheney. I would see his role in 9/11 revealed, via dossiers of irrefutable, undeniable, and legally actionable evidence being simultaineously being delivered to every media figure, politician, and law enforcement official in the western world. I figure if you can nail Cheney, then everyone else connected with him goes down too.
4) The military industrial complex is made up of people so completely inimical to civilized behaviour that they cannot have any place in any society. This one life is all that any of us have, so we all owe it to ourselves and one another to work together to make it a good one; ethically, environmentally, and economically. Authoritarianism, in any form, diminishes us all.
5) Brian K. Vaughn. One of the best and most versatile comic book writers alive. If he were globally beloved, I think that the breadth of comic books he's written would serve as a gateway for many millions of people to discover the joy of the medium.
6) Jeph Loeb. I could be entirely altuistic and pick some influential religious leader or media darling like Rush Limbaugh, but honestly, there's nobody who gets up my nerd rage like this ultimate hack writer, who destroys and infantalizes each and every thing he touches, and keeps getting access to characters I like... or used to like... until Loeb got his hands on them.
7) Thomas Jefferson. The Americans revere their founding fathers without knowing or understanding anything about them. This fellow, whose name is still spoken with reverence by American traditionalists, who spoke in life such sayings as you'll find here : http://nobeliefs.com/jefferson.htm
which I think that modern Americans would benefit from hearing.
8) Israel would sink below the waves, and then below the crust of the Earth, down into the mantle, over the course of a couple of months. Plenty of time for everyone to get out safely, and in the end, it just wouldn't be there for people to fight over any more.
9) Star Trek: The Next Generation. Capitalism is a thing of the past, as is need and want, thanks to the replicator. Empty, endless drudgery and poverty are a thing of the past, freeing us to pursue our higher callings. Religion has no role in public life, and we have real-time communication with hundreds of friendly alien cultures. This, to me, is paradise.
10) Cocaine would no longer be illegal in the United States. Not because I have any fondness for the stuff or the people who use it, but I feel that the number of people who get sent to prison for this relatively minor offense is deeply corrosive to their culture and responsible for some significant portion of their public ills.
11) The government shall be obliged to provide free university educations for anyone who qualifies for it. This already exists in many European countries, and does fantastic things for their societies. It would do the same here. If I had believed I could ever afford to go to University, I would have tried a lot harder than I did in high school, that's for sure.
12) I wish I could get all the world to share my love of the english language. This isn't cultural elitism; if English weren't my first language, it would be whatever my first language was. I just wish that people would be as motivated as I am to be as expressive and erudite and concerned with proper use of the language as I am.