the extension of an idea from 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being'...
I'll start (and hopefully people will follow with their own...).
#1 - What if I were born as an inanimate object?
this one pulls at the threads of human consciousness. I first had the thought walking home from school one day, aged six or seven, staring up at lamposts - "what if I was born as a lampost rather than a person?" - lost in precocious abstraction.
it still throws me through a loop. I was earnestly pondering what it would be like to be a lampost rather than a human being (somewhat dull, but kind of voyeuristic? low self-esteem due to the territorial behaviour of local stray animals? yearning to uproot from my stationary, uniform life and backpack around Asia for a few years?), but recalling the thought later in life, it kind of pulled the rug from under my certainty re: existence as
a sentient creature.
which lead onto thinking about what makes a person who they are, beneath all they experience, if there's some essential singular part of a person, indivisible and pure, or if it's just illusory. what if it was a different sperm cell, a different egg? one half the gametes of a different person altogether?
which naturally lead to a whole lot of existential tossing and turning. no wonder my mother never gave me a proper answer. all from some innocent childhood whimsy.
any more for any more?