4 Superpowers I Don’t Want to Have
Everyone wishes they could be more powerful than they are. Myths and legends since the dawn of humanity describe the feats and deeds of people with extraordinary or supernatural abilities. Not all superpowers are created equal, and even abilities that sound incredibly practical in normal life may have side effects and drawbacks that outweigh their uses.
The superpowers I will list are actual superpowers and not comical or useless abilities like being able to self-induce incurable leprosy or the power to transmute Coca-Cola into Pepsi.
At first thought, flight sounds like one of the best superpowers to have. You would never have to worry about wearing your shoes out ever again. You'd be able to defend yourself from involuntary defenestration, climb the tallest mountains without worry of falling to a rocky death, or avoid traffic on your way to work. The best part is you'd be able to troll the world by zipping around the skies in a Superman costume! Think again though.
If you fly too low, you have to be careful to avoid power lines and small birds. Fly too high, and not only do you have to worry about getting sucked into a jet engine, but you could be injured or killed simply by the low air pressure or low oxygen level around you. And no matter where you fly, you'll eventually get unwanted attention from various government agencies and private entities who'll be all to eager to capture you for study and experimentation. In this scenario, it's more likely that you'll wind up dissected and not appropriately compensated for your contributions to the understanding of human physiology.
If you think flight is too dangerous and conspicuous, surely teleportation is better. You could skip the perils and travel times of flight by instantly blinking to the destination of your choice. And even if you're caught by an unscrupulous entity, you can escape your holding cell faster than Houdini in his prime! If you think a little more though, you'll realize teleportation is even more dangerous than the power of flight.
When you decide to teleport, not only do you have to consider the location of where you want to teleport to, but also the rotation of the earth and the planet's relative position in outer space. One small miscalculation and you'll wind up as a popsicle floating in the cold void of space, buried in the burning mantle under the Earth's crust, or exploding out of the body of the poor victim who unfortunately stepped into your planned destination.
3. Time Manipulation
I'm including time travel, stopping time, slowing or speeding up time, and other forms of time manipulation here. Everyone wants more time. The time to live, to be with loved ones, or to finish that assignment you were putting off until the deadline again. Everyone has regrets of things they'd rather have done differently. Improper use of time manipulation could multiply your regrets by a magnitude of a million if you're not careful.
If you decide to stop or slow down time to speed up your morning routine in order to beat the traffic, you would still have to slow yourself down while in the slowed time to avoid destroying everything around you by accident. It would probably also be harder to breathe since it would take more time for oxygen to enter and leave your lungs. Also, even if you learn to master the inconveniences of moving around in slowed time, you have to be careful to not overuse it. Over time, you will end up aging and dying much more quickly than your peers just to maintain a slight short-term edge over them.
Maybe you decide to go the other way and speed up time. Nobody likes waiting in a doctor's office or having to endure hours of boredom while riding the Greyhound to your destination. As a bonus, you'll even extend your lifespan by cutting all the boring parts you have to wait through. In that case, I hope you have exceptional reflexes since it'll be much harder to react to threats than in normal time. Insects will be many times more annoying as they zip around you at supersonic speeds. Good luck if they're the biting or stinging kind, you could wind up looking like a teenager with the worst acne ever!
If you decide to go back in time to undo the one event that haunts your mind in the present, you'll have to be especially careful to not create a paradox that wildly alters world events for the worse. Perhaps the chain of events caused from you accidentally wearing a wrinkled shirt to your job interview several years ago prevented World War 3. You can't prove that it didn't. The butterfly effect works in mysterious ways.
4. Reading Minds
While we desire to understand the wants and needs of those around us better, being able to literally read their minds may not be as beneficial as you expect. A lot of this does depend if you're able to switch on and off this ability at will. If you have control of when you can read someone's mind, it would certainly be beneficial for negotiation or sales or to learn the true intentions of someone you don't trust. If this is an ability that is "on" at all times like normal sight or sound, you may never know peace in your life again as you constantly hear the mental chattering of everyone around you. The misery is multiplied if you live in a cramped apartment or large city.
And it's also creepy and intrusive.