Regret, the Unspoken Story

Did we or did we not? That’s always the question served on the platter of regrets. Every day we consciously or sub-consciously make 100,000 decisions that affect every millisecond of our daily lives that range from the number of blood cells traveling through our veins to our verbal commitments and not every decision is a good one. The active choices that we make have already been made a second before in our sub-conscious and our thoughts move with the speed of light if not faster which why it is often said to think before you speak!

Words are like the bullet fired from the gun, once shot, you can’t put it back and when it hits the intended target, the damage is done. Of course, you are all familiar with these analogies, but the point I want to bring to you is the regret that we have to work with after the fact. The person who knew the risk of smoking now lies dying in a hospital bed, the speeder who is crushed in his overturned car watching the life’s blood flow out of a ripped torso and so on. Do you believe they are regretting their actions? But why at the last second do they realize the foolishness of their folly? The lack of judgment that could have prevented the situation?

We take a dozen unneeded risks on a daily basis that clouds our ability to foresee the consequences of an ill-made decision and the following result is the regret. Why did I lie? Why did I sleep with my neighbor? Why did I quit my job? The questions are innumerable but the answer is usually the same, we don’t really know, but regret tells us that we made the wrong decision. But how many of us tell others about our decision-making process? Very few because it’s either embarrassing, weak, or just plain stupid and not too many people want to confess to those kinds of attributes, myself included! But facts are facts and as humans, perfection though in the dictionary, does not abode in our persons, therefore causing us to fall short every single moment of our lives, no exceptions.

The regret is there to tell us to try again by taking another route, a better way to avoid the potholes of life, to avoid wrecking ourselves upon the skeletal remains of those who have failed before us because they chose to ignore the warning sign of regret and plowed straight ahead to their ultimate demise, death by stupidity. Why didn’t they listen? What were their reasons? Money? Material possessions? Power? Does it matter? Do we need to know the details and if we did, would we listen or act as though it won’t happen to us?

Regret is there to call us aside, to save our lives by not repeating the same mistake twice but how many are listening? How many stories may be read by observing one man for one week as he goes about his daily work, day and night without him knowing that you are observing him, noticing his every move, recording his every word and thought, seeing what he sees, hearing what he hears and says, do you think that you’d be shocked? You can see where his actions and thoughts are leading him and you want to warn him of the great dangers that lay just ahead, but you can’t say anything beforehand, only after the fact. And the only way that you could warn him is through the feeling of regret! But is he listening? Would you? Would I?

So before we continue on in our brief lives, take the time to listen to the voice of reason before the hammer of regret falls upon the unwary head.

Just some thoughts.

Edward Ordway