The focus yesterday was killing regrets. Brought many responses…one indicated the need to bury regrets happens all the time…and in some of those times, hardest to do. Because of another R word: revenge. But the friend said it’s better not to do anything more than learn and make sure the regret wasn’t prompted by her own actions or words. Good point.
Another shocked me. She said the hardest pain, inflicted by another, was to drop the regret. The story could be devastating. The friend said at the age of 9 she was asked to be the FIRST African American girl to be on the cover of the cereal Captain Crunch. She saw that, having moved from South Chicago to Los Angeles, as “the moment” to launch an acting career, for her 9-year-old time on stage was always applauded. But, she said her sister somehow broke the deal so the cereal box cover picture never happened.
That’s a huge OUCH. Sure, could have been nothing. But to have it thwarted by a sister? Come on. Yet, this friend, no longer 9 years old, has zoomed up in her company and brings such goodness and hope to others. I’m beyond impressed. A great example of wisdom tamping down the ego and increasing the still other R word: resolve. That’s how I see it.
I now think of how the apparent “by the way” can be the most pivotal moment. I’ve shared this before. It’s about Jeannette Butts, now Jeannette Hereniko, living with Vili in Hawaii. When Jeannette and I were 16 attending Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon, we were best friends who never dated. Thinking back on that, probably why we are best friends now. One night, at the incredibly naïve age of 16, I said to Jeannette, and it wasn’t academic, because at 16 I thought an answer was timely, “Jeannette, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.”
She howled, slapped her hands, “Mark, you’re so stupid. Of course, you’re going to be a minister.”
I went home, told my parents I had made my decision. My mother thought it was wonderful. My father cleared his throat, “That’s good to know, Mark. Get a good night’s sleep and we’ll talk about it in the morning.”
Well, Jeannette’s vision came through. And, hopefully there’ve been more good than bad these years.
And, to thank her, I’m going to applaud and cheer on March 31 in Portland—62 years after her declaration isn’t too late! For Jeannette will be performing a one woman show in Portland on March 31 that has brought sold-out audiences in Hawaii. And I’m going to be joined by other classmates from our high school 1958 graduating class. So, it never became a regret.
Which may be the most apt comment about regrets.
Why list them?
Why not think of the moment, no matter how incidental at the time, that led to absolute goodness and a more viable way to order life? Shift the world of regrets to affirmations. Possible?