A Toast to "Regret"

2007-01-11 00:00

The new year is a time for new things. New resolutions, a clean slate, forgiveness. But it's also about regret. If we don't regret, we don't change. I'm going to tak a moment to talk about regret, and why it's better for you than resolutions. Regret hurts. Hurt motivates. Good feelings don't.You should want to feel good, sure. But I'd rather not feel bad all the time than feel great every once in a while. The goal is higher, but that's the low-bar. If you're above that, you're doing alright. You stay above that low because of regret. Every decision you've ever made is at least partially motivated by not wanting to regret it. We all try and live our lives without regret. Regret sucks, right? And we really don't need it to know what good feels like, do we? I don't think we need regret to compare against. We need regret to hurt. When you hurt, you don't give up. Not right away. Hurt moves you from it's cause. That works for a while, but we can't dwell on it. But we can dwell on regret and get somewhere. Every moment, of every day, if you think about what you regret it could crush your spirit. But when you need something to believe in, even a little bit, you can look at that, your regret, your humanity, your imperfection, and you can believe in yourself. You can believe you can be better than you are now, because for that regret, you have paid a price, and that regret makes you better than you were. Perhaps wiser. Perhaps stronger, slower, quicker, or more humble.If you want to live without regret you want to live a lie.I have regret, and plenty of it. Things unsaid, undone, done in haste, done too late. None of it matters now, in that I can not change it. I can not do it over, do it right or wrong or backwards or forwards ever again. But it motivates me to do now what is better. It's not just mistakes, mistakes don't always hurt. The hurt is what matters, what makes us better. The hurt is our humanity, bared to the world, crying in a rainstorm, screaming in the wind, feverish in an inferno.And so, a toast:To regret. To what might have been, what ought to be, and that which shall never happen. There's a world out there waiting for you to regret to not having made it. Don't let it happen.

Note: This entry imported via Facebook's Note feature from my old website, much is expected to be broken.