I am sure it is not obvious but I am given to some amount of introspection.
If you don’t see the humor in the preceding statement, you must be a first time visitor to this blog.
Or you have no appreciation for irony – in which case, you may want to be my friend but never will be (sorry) :-).
From time to time,, I indulge myself and I look back at my life. With the benefit of hindsight, I can pinpoint the areas where I could have done differently – chosen another path, taken another approach, made other choices.
But I look back as one might review earlier pages of a book being read. You do so knowing the story can’t be changed but just want to be reminded of how its twists and turns have taken you to the current page. Or sometimes, you just feel the need to revisit insights or lessons that could be applied now or at anytime in the future.
I try not to look back with regret. What is done is done. And I know that – however a life choice has turned out – it was always the best I could have made under the circumstances present then.
I no longer have any grand plans or ambitions. Whatever my aspirations were in my younger years, I've accepted that in my lifetime I will not be able to end poverty or find a cure for cancer.
I take each day as it comes. On a daily basis, I try to make the best decision I could make, no matter how seemingly inconsequential.
I lead a very ordinary life. My daily decisions will hardly determine how the world at large will fare – but many are big enough not only to affect other people and their well-being but also potentially alter my perception of the kind of person I want to be.
The choices are not always clear-cut but I try to keep my criteria consistent.
Have I considered all sides? Am I being truthful? Am I being fair? Can I live with my choices? Will the right people benefit from this decision? If this decision will cause initial harm, will it be eventually for the greater good?
And why do my questions sound like the Rotary Club's Four Way Test?
Sometimes, the answers are not needed immediately and I can enjoy the luxury of pondering But, more often, the answers are required in a split second. So, I say a short prayer, go with what my gut tells me and psych myself up to own up to my choices.
Calibrating and following my life compass in this way, one decision eventually leads to another and I sometimes find myself where I am without necessarily meaning to be there.
I do have my “Huh, how did I get here?” moments. But then again – given how the decisions that were made got me to wherever – I know that I am where I am supposed to be for the moment and I am there for the right reasons.
And, no matter what the present is, I know that the future brings with it countless opportunities for second chances and fresh starts.
No regrets. Only hope.
And this prayer.