Sunday, December 21, 2008

Looking Back

When it's over, you look back and see it all as a whole.  You know you did what you thought, at the time, was the right thing to do.  You know you did, at the time, all you could do.  Everyone else believes you did the right thing, says you did everything you could, even more.  You don't believe in regrets, and you know, given how it was at the time, it could not have been otherwise.  But looking back, you wonder if it would have gone differently, if you'd done it differently.


Lucy said...

This is a very potent little paragraph - scary somehow. I am always regretting, and, to paraphrase something I heard on "This American Life," I will probably regret even this writing about regret. More to the point: One cannot be more, or less, than one is. Once a decision is made, we take the proverbial path. The alternative choice dissolves and the thread is lost. But the awful, undisciplined, alternative is to do - or consider - nothing. So if you did what seemed right, without the benefit of time-travel or supernatural powers, you were compassionate. If you wonder whether things could have been different, you are intelligent.

And you, Dear Becca, are both.

Kelly said...

beautifully put. I know just what you mean at the same time I understand it not at all.


Libby said...

All you can ever do is your best at the time, and knowing your good impulses and your good heart, that's pretty damn good. The hardest part about being a grownup, for me, is realizing that sometimes my best can't make things better. It's a painful lesson.