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#225271 - 06/06/11 12:35 AM Should everyone have regret?
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
It seems to me that regret, the garden variety not a morbid paralyzing regret, should be part of what ordinary people experience and carry around in memory. I am not sure I would be comfortable with someone who claims no regret.

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#225275 - 06/06/11 01:28 AM Re: Should everyone have regret? [Re: dweste]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2906
Loc: USA
Pain is the great teacher. Regret is the notes we take on what we've learned.

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#225281 - 06/06/11 02:27 AM Re: Should everyone have regret? [Re: dweste]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
I don't see much point to regret. Looking back at a situation it is easy to see things I could have done differently. But, unless I'm going to entertain the idea that I screwed up on purpose, and secretly desired the extra heaping helping of pain and inequity, it is pointless. Generally, people, including myself, do about as well as they can given the situation and how they understand how things work.

We are not limitless beings. We get hurt, and the pain distorts our reality. But, for us, at the time, it is our reality and the only thing we have to work with. We end up fearing figments of our imaginations while the real monsters lurk around the corner undetected. After the fact it is all very clear we were paying attention to the wrong things but all you can do is the best you can and hope it is enough.

All you can do is try to understand what you can understand, admit your failures, learn from them, and try to do better next time. The goal is not, must not be, perfection. Because that way lies craziness, and bitter disappointment. You will never get there. What you can do is keep getting better. Everyone can do a little better even as we admit that everyone is damaged and distracted. That is about as good as it gets.

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#225287 - 06/06/11 03:05 AM Re: Should everyone have regret? [Re: dweste]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
I don't know... I kind of like this quotation that I came across many years ago...

"Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it is only good for wallowing in." - Katherine Mansfield

Sue

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#225295 - 06/06/11 03:30 AM Re: Should everyone have regret? [Re: Art_in_FL]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Originally Posted By: Art_in_FL
I don't see much point to regret.


Perhaps it is to remind us that we can make mistakes that hurt others and, if we do not want to do more of the same, we need to be careful. That sounds like something I would like those around me to at least have in the back of their minds.

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#225297 - 06/06/11 03:35 AM Re: Should everyone have regret? [Re: Susan]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Originally Posted By: Susan
"Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it is only good for wallowing in." - Katherine Mansfield
Sue


I believe this sentiment, while popular, is absoutely both wrong-headed and wrong-hearted. I find it wrong-headed in that regret conditions our behavior to aid us in future conduct that has better results in the future and that wallowing applies only to unhealthy regret. I find it wrong-hearted in that regret is a normal reaction of a caring human being and is not to be denied or resisted, but something valuable from which to learn.

I think this is about right:

Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
Pain is the great teacher. Regret is the notes we take on what we've learned.


Edited by dweste (06/06/11 03:37 AM)

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#225313 - 06/06/11 01:06 PM Re: Should everyone have regret? [Re: dweste]
comms Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/23/08
Posts: 1502
Loc: Mesa, AZ
I think I regret missing little things but appreciate that the decisions I have made have given me a life I am happy with today.

I regret selling my '65 Mustang Coupe when I joined the Army. I regret selling my Ford Pick the way I did. But today I have the
Jeep of my dreams.

I don't equate regret to longing. I made the right decision to get out of the military when I did, but I still miss it horribly to this day. But I would not live where I do today, with the friends I have today, with the life I have today had I stayed in. I can't regret that.

I don't equate regret to things that were out of my control that today make me sad. Sadness is not regret.
_________________________
Don't just survive. Thrive.

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#225315 - 06/06/11 01:10 PM Re: Should everyone have regret? [Re: dweste]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1787
Loc: Ocala, FL
Off the top of my head, it's the small stuff. I should have managed money better. I should have upgraded my old computer rather than build the one I am using now.

I know how to manage money now. Experience is a good teacher.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
"When you're up to your [neck] in alligators, it's hard to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp." -- Floridian proverb

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#225319 - 06/06/11 02:00 PM Re: Should everyone have regret? [Re: NightHiker]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 1787
Loc: Ocala, FL
Originally Posted By: NightHiker
I tend to lean a little heavily towards stoic philosophy and IMHO regret is completely useless and serves no positive purpose. Recognition (hindsight)that an alternative path should have been taken is a much more usefull application. Recognition is learning, regret is feeling sorry for yourself.

You have a good point. We just got hung up on the terminology.

Jeanette Isabelle
_________________________
"When you're up to your [neck] in alligators, it's hard to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp." -- Floridian proverb

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#225326 - 06/06/11 03:13 PM Re: Should everyone have regret? [Re: dweste]
dweste Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/16/08
Posts: 2463
Loc: Central California
Regret may be one of the foundations of decision-making and is rarely a morbid, dead-end, psychologically useless phenomena in which one wallows. Mere hindsight has no value component, it is regret that tells you what you want to avoid.

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