The Ideals of Regretful Creatures

Humans who grow old are bound to become regretful creatures. Regret brings wisdom with age because we learn from our mistakes, but it also brings needless misery. It captures our memories, replaying the failure in our lives. It engrosses us in a fantasy about what could have been. A different path that what would result in lasting happiness.

Regret is ultimately the consequence of not living up to our ideals. Ideals that require sacrifices we didn’t fulfill, information we didn’t possess, and thoughts we never conceived. Ideals that could only be seen through hindsight because we know how the events unfold. Ideals that were perhaps unattainable and out of reach from the beginning. Ideals of regretful creatures.

Nevertheless, our universe might not be the only version of events out there. There may be a parallel universe where we succeed in those ideals. A universe where our values match our actions, and those values never waver. One utopian reality in an ocean of many. Or perhaps this too is an illusion- for even there, what’s to stop our ever greater expectations?

We can’t change the past. The same moments from before won’t be replayed. We should regret, but only for a moment. To live and learn. And to keep those ideals alive.