Despite being crazy busy at work and gearing up for school holidays, I've spent the last week in a great deal of contemplation. Just thinking about how our every action impacts on the actions of those we've interacted with. And just how far reaching those impacts can be. Whether it's the choice of detergent we buy, where we shop, what we say when we are grumpy, how we deal with difficult colleagues, what we fail to acknowledge and appreciate in another person because we are in a hurry, what we say to our children when we've lost patience with their tantrum...although it is easy to show them how much you love them when they are being adorable!
Waking before the crack of dawn to be on a flight to Sydney for work and getting back late at night means lots of waiting-around-at-airport time. I do this trip frequently and I usually use that down time to squeeze in yes more work...but lately I've been spending it navel gazing. On my last work trip, I was sitting in the sunshine (why does it always seem to be warm and sunny in Sydney!!) having a coffee, about to head into a meeting - and I felt someone staring at me. I looked up and it was someone I used to sort-of date a long looooooong time ago, I met him right about the same time I first met Mr Bok. We exchanged pleasantries but it was a bit odd, I still feel terrible for hurting his feelings all those years ago and meeting him out of the blue again - I don't think he's forgotten it either. Then later in the week I bumped into my first 'real' boyfriend when I was a teenager many moons ago - he broke my heart! and never fails to apologise for it when we run into each other so obviously how he behaved (appallingly!!) when he was a young one still bothers him. I've long forgotten it.
It's a very uncomfortable feeling to know you've hurt another person. I think that sometimes it's easier to forgive another person than to forgive yourself. Sometimes.
Now usually the quiet thinking I do isn't all that quiet, it's railing against the unfairness of humanity, trying to make a difference to lessen the hot feeling inside I get when I think about it, being a UN volunteer means I do it because I feel strongly about the disadvantaged, the marginalised, the majority of the world who live their reality without basic human rights, those that just don't have the same opportunities that we do here in Australia. Then there is Hazel's post which I had to stop reading because all of the points that make her cross make me cross too!
But the quiet thinking I do when I look back on all of the things I've said or done that I've regretted...I wonder about the people who say they live with absolutely no regret.
I've come across many articles discussing the Amnesia Drug Metyrapone lately, simplistically put, it can delete or block bad memories. This must be fantastic for people who have lived through severe trauma and just can't move on with life or entertain any happiness because of it. I've thought about how great it could be. I wonder how many people would use it for things they had done that they regret? Or if they would choose to used it to block out bad memories caused by someone else. But having experienced many different sides of life, ultimately for me, I'm thankful that I have lived through so much and the bad memories that I used to polish all the time have taught me a lot about how to live my life today, how to be stronger and how to better treat others.
I think you are a pretty lucky human if you've lived a few decades and haven't experienced heartbreak or regret. Or perhaps it's the other way around?