Saturday, September 03, 2005

Chasing Regrets-2

I finished my last post on this subject with the question of whether it makes sense to chase regrets. Instinctively, the answer to this question is undoubtedly: no (with the caveat, I think, that if one were to go through life without the ability to regret anything, then one might be something along the lines of a sociopath).

The question I am broaching is more specific, however. Take my Marine Corps example as context for considering this question. Does it make sense for me, today, to Regret (capital R intended) that I did not get my commission in the Marines? Logically, the answer is no, and here is why: if I had not injured myself in training, and instead had been commissioned, been a JAG officer, perhaps even a career Marine, etc., I would be a significantly different person leading a significantly different life than the person writing this post.

Put a different way, it really does not make sense for PDS-1 (the person I became) to Regret that I am not PDS-2 (the person I would have been) because I am viewing this question through a lens that was created by the life experiences, significant relationships, templates, etc. that developed precisely because I was not a Marine officer over the past 20+ years, and precisely because I turned out to be PDS-1.

No thinking person is without regrets, but that doesn't mean they need to be "Regrets." Regrets are inevitible in life, but chasing them, and turning them into Regrets, is neither necessary or logical. Chasing Regrets is the psychological equivalent of a dog chasing its own tail.

In a future post, I will attempt to show what this topic has to do with my own Tale.