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Patty Craig: A Slice of Time

Have you ever thought, “What was I thinking?” I have asked myself that question several times. Sometimes I act before I think, and sometimes I regret doing that.

A common definition of regret is to feel sorry about something previously done or said that, upon reflection, appears wrong, mistaken, or perhaps hurtful to others. Mercedes Lackey once said, “If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.” Regrets may be related to any area of life, whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. For example, I regret forming bad eating habits and failing to learn Spanish. And, I regret that I have not always stood up for what I believe is right.

I asked friends and family about their regrets. My question was: since we all have regrets, which category does your greatest regret fall into? (a) health choices; (b) education or work choices; (c) relationship choices; (d) spiritual or ethical choices; or (e) another unlisted area. Twenty-two people responded to the question identifying 24 “regrets.” Their replies showed the following results:
•    Health choices: 4 (17 %)
•    Education/Work choices: 5 (21 %)
•    Relationship choices: 6 (25 %)
•    Spiritual/Ethical choices: 7 (29 %)
•    Unlisted area: 2 (8 %)
More than one person remarked that one area of regret had affected another area.

My uncle, Neal Tucker of Morganfield, replied to my question and also said: “As I look back through the many years of my life and then look forward to the few years I have left, I become more and more aware that I have walked past many opportunities God provided for me to grow through His Spirit. I regret that I passed those opportunities for a greater in-depth understanding and relationship with Him. If I had used those opportunities, I believe I could serve Him better now and in the future.” My uncle is a wise man.

The following comments about making good choices encourage me:
•    The right thing to do never requires any subterfuge; it is always simple and direct. --Calvin Coolidge
•    Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around. --Cameron Crowe
•    Right actions in the future are the best apologies for bad actions in the past. --Tyron Edwards
•    Relativity applies to physics, not ethics. --Albert Einstein
•    Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen. --Peter Marshall
•    We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand. --Randy Pausch
•    It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. --J.K. Rowling

Making choices in life is sometimes difficult. Stephen Covey wrote about the space between a stimulus and a response: the time humans have to choose their actions. I believe that timeframe for choosing our action is a blessing – one we shouldn’t take lightly.

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Comments

Excellent article Ms. Craig. I always enjoy reading and contemplating the words you have written. Past student and future reader!


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