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Real Regrets

Posted by Herb7734 3 months ago to Philosophy
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When I was close to death with pneumonia, I reflected on those things that, over the years, I most regretted. Oddly enough, they were not momentous moments, but smaller, personal things, like certain events I failed to attend, compliments I should have given, but didn't and the following is an example of a biggie.Many years ago in my childhood I knew a kid whose name was Clifford, but everyone called him "Pinkie." I don't know why. Perhaps because of his slightly smaller stature, however when full grown he was of average height. In any case, zoom forward 20 years and I encounter him with his teen son in the locker room of our health club.Without a thought I shouted out "Hi, Pinkie." Whereupon Clifford's face turned red and his son assumed a quizzical look. In a flash I realized that the dad who was a terrific athlete and provider was also "Pinkie." As I walked away I heard, "Yeah, Pinkie, that was my nickname." The minor incident has returned to haunt me evermore. Don't ask me why, but let me caution you here in the Gulch. Be careful what you say and who you say it to. It may come back to haunt you some day and not for the sake of others but for your own sake. I would dearly like to go back to be able to correct every faux pas, everyy unattended event, and every inappropriate smartass remark. However, the past is as unrelenting as fate.


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  • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 months ago
    Having regrets proves you have a conscience, that apparently lacking in too many puffed-up with themselves people these days.
    Being capable of regrets molds character. Just ask this 72-year-old.
    An asker: "Hey,, 72-year-old, do you have any regrets so late in your life?"
    Me dino: "None of your damn business.".
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    • Posted by BCRinFremont 3 months ago
      “None of your damn business.”.

      Damn Straight!!! Rand and Hayek would both say that guilt about failure to be altruistic is an unproductive way to think and leads to the usual socialistic bad end. Hold your ground! Your “bad actions” probably led to results that improved life for all of humanity.
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      • Posted by BCRinFremont 3 months ago
        It may be needless to say, but a person’s thoughts are really put to the test when the reaper of souls is hovering over your bed.
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        • Posted by  $  allosaur 3 months ago
          With each passing birthday, me dino is becoming more and more aware of my mortality.
          And I know a lot of fellow baby boomers who are under the ground.
          One guy who stands out in my memory for being my exact same age died of a heart attack during the Ninetes.
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      • Posted by 3 months ago
        I doubt if those regrets could be called altruistic. It's more a matter of "do no harm" which falls somewhere under the non-coercion mantra of objectevism. Might make a pretty good debate. Anything would be better than the childish stupidity of current events as put forth by the anti-American left.
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  • Posted by  $  25n56il4 3 months ago
    You can't relive your life. If we didn't make mistakes, we wouldn't be human. Living in a small town is dangerous. Memories are long! But we all grow up and have regrets. It's a fact of life. But when we grow up, we forgive one another!
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    • Posted by 3 months ago
      My point was to think about it and be careful, you might be surprised what will haunt you later.
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      • Posted by  $  exceller 3 months ago
        You don't know what will haunt you later.

        If you lived by that rule, you'd be paralyzed, unable to "live" your life.

        Every action you take may have dozens of consequences, depending on your surroundings, people, unexpected events, etc.

        When I moved from PA to CA, my friends gave me a golden advice: "Good habits will make you succeed."

        That is the only rule worth following.
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    • Posted by bobsprinkle 3 months ago
      First...absolutely no criticism intended here. But, you stated "when" we grow up, we forgive. We can all learn from that. Maybe it could be restated as
      IF we forgive we grow up. Just a thought. I can most definitely learn from it.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 months ago
    The anonymity provided by the Internet makes it too easy to forget common courtesy and respect sometimes. If you go through life treating others the way you want to be treated, it will cut down on regrets.
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    • Posted by 3 months ago
      Ah, the golden rule. Good point for its application.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 3 months ago
        One does not have to accept the religious baggage that goes with the golden rule to realize that following the golden rule ultimately is in one's best interest. If others choose to disrespect you, it is not hard to take the Howard Roark approach of not thinking about those people. If people choose to respect you, then they are worthy of the same respect.
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  • Posted by  $  CaptainKirk 3 months ago
    I will take the UNDER on that.
    It was your INTENT at the time you said it that should matter. Not the response of the individual. You MAY have missed a chance to apologize when his face turned red...

    But honestly, such regrets are fruitless. You can NOT control how people respond to you. Don't try.

    You cannot read their minds. And should not try.

    And maybe this created an opportunity for a dad to have a heart to heart talk with his son. How the reason he takes him to the gym is because he felt bullied, and being called PINKIE was an example of it.

    You could have, in fact, CHANGED the relationship between Pinkie and his son for the better. Or at least, helped ensured that his son learned a valuable lesson!

    I cherish when things come up, even problems, so that my daughter gets a teachable moment from it. Whether it be her car stalling about 20 times while driving (taught her how to safely, without panic, hit her signal and/or hazard, go to neutral, and coast into the safest side. How to call for AAA, and also how VALUABLE a reliable car is AND the risks involved with having a flaky vehicle).

    She still has the vehicle, since repaired, and regrets that it's time has come and she needs a new one.

    But I am confident she will know how to handle a problem. And when she gets her new one, she will learn to jack it up, and change the tire, and have to peruse the manual on how everything works, and how to use the vehicle.

    We are not perfect. Some kids think I am MEAN to my daughter for not giving her a better car. My INTENT is not to be mean, but to have her FEEL why having a new vehicle, free of issues, and why keeping it serviced properly is so important.

    I hope this helps in some way. Even when you were dead wrong, and did the worse thing imaginable, there is a strong chance you allowed someone else to learn something (like what NOT to do, LOL)
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  • Posted by  $  gharkness 3 months ago
    Just about the only "good" thing I got from my Catholic school education was the nightly "examination of conscience," even though that's not how I think of it now. Thoughts like that don't wait until night-time, but are especially bothersome to me then when I'm drifting off to sleep.

    If only I had known what it would do to me, I'd have quit listening to the nuns about THAT too! But every single night it's the same old litany of the things I did wrong. I've learned to live with it because 1) I think most people do that, 2) there's not a single thing I can do to go back and change what I did, and 3) I learned (and am still learning) from it.

    What is that they say about the "unexamined life?" Well if that's the case, mine is definitely worth living, because it has been picked apart by myself thousands of times!
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    • Posted by 3 months ago
      Trust me, it's no different among my upbringing, Judais.. Those of us fortunate enough to escape from the sticky , cloying bonds of religion can , while regretting lost hours of youth, can at least rejoice in the knowledge that "Die gedunken sind frei." -- My thoughts are free. (An old German folk song.)
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months ago
    Good advice my friend...I fear my list might fill a book...Forgiveness of self is the hardest thing to do and maybe it shouldn't be easy... but at least measured against what one has learned and applied going forward.

    I suspect you know that already but I say it as a reminder to self and others...
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    • Posted by 3 months ago
      The reminder will be constant -- like it or not.
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      • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months ago
        As in the "Undiscovered Country" (Star Trek) it is that pain that makes you who you are now...

        With love and understanding,
        Your friend and brother, Carl
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        • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months ago
          "it is that pain that makes you who you are now."
          That was the one before it, The Final Frontier. "I need my pain."
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          • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months ago
            Thanks...wasn't sure after I wrote the name of the episode...
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            • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months ago
              It might have made more sense for the names to be reversed.

              I saw The Final Frontier in the theater when I was 14. I thought it sucked, but I understand a little more about what Kirk was saying about refusing to be manipulated by a tour of all the times he turned left when he should have turned right. I thought it was about regrets, but I understand better about what Herb is saying about things that are not major regrets but little things you're really not proud of.

              It makes me think of a girlfriend I didn't treat that great at age 17. I talked to her when I was 27 and said I should have handled things differently. She said she unequivocally forgives teenage all peccadilloes, and countless things happened since, making it no big deal. That made me feel better. I better that's true for a lot of the peccadilloes Herb was thinking of... the people who were wronged might not think of it as that big of a deal. People are often hardest on themselves.
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              • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 3 months ago
                Forgiveness is a difficult concept for the Conscious Self to recon with.

                In some of my talks, relating to my first book and understandings since, I say:
                If the evolution of our mentality and behavior was expected to be so damned easy...there would have been no need for the act of nor the concept of...Profound Forgiveness.
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  • Posted by Abaco 3 months ago
    Yeah, you're a good man, Herb. Don't let it bother much. We all have regrets. I have one that I'd love to make right. I was 11 at the time. ….So, in the grand scheme I'm probably much better than most...haha...
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months ago
    This is a good reminder. If you still have contact with those people, you could send them a note or see them, not about that but just saying you respect them.

    If you investigated, I wonder if many of those things would turn out a) not as bothersome as you thought or b) not really the thing that was bothering them in life.

    But I know you mean. I'm collecting these minor regrets too. I had a nice and dedicated PT employee who showed up clearly buzzed to work twice. Then I cut his hours, partly because of that but also because I had a client who stopped paying for unrelated reasons. The guy committed suicide a couple weeks later. I don't imagine that I alone had the power to save his life, but I still think about it.
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