Living each day much muchier


Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by
the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw
off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain)


Have you ever taken a risk on something that failed and then regretted ever having done it at all? Or were you upset that it failed, regretted it for awhile, but were at least satisfied that you gave it your best shot? I don’t know about you, but I would rather try and fail than hold back and lose out on the experience altogether.

I used to do that a lot as a teenager … hold back. I was uncommonly good at predicting the eventual outcome of a situation based on what other people were likely to do. I reasoned to myself, why do this at all if I know there’s no good future in it? My friends at the time used to marvel at my restraint … marvel at how I never seemed to get myself into the sort of pickles that they did. Even though I never said to them ‘I told you so’ at the end of any such pickle, I bet I was just as annoying as if I had actually stuck my thumb to my nose and did a ‘ner ner’ dance. In comparison, my own life was relatively uncomplicated. I strove to avoid the traps and entanglements that were so obvious and avoided those messy, painful impacts on my heart.

What I failed to realise at the time was that in avoiding the messiness of life … I missed out on life itself. Terrible. Wonderful. Terrifying. Satisfying. Painful. Beautiful. A heart that doesn’t try avoids the pain of loss and failure … but suffers emptiness instead. Perhaps my friends at the time also pitied me for having a cold heart unswerved by passion, unmoved by love, and left untouched.

Have you ever done something, knowing it would fail, but you did it anyway because the experience itself was worth it?

This is my outtake on life now. I even think that’s what it truly means to love life … to accept it for all its ups and downs. To try something for its own sake, not on the proviso that it must succeed. To love people for their own journey, not just how they impact on mine.

Perhaps I’ll live to regret it but at least I will have lived.
A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.
William Shedd

2 comments on “Life

  1. Jai Normosone
    August 26, 2009

    You're on the right path here – to a degree….Think about the quote (paraphrasing) that says: "He who forgets the mistakes of history is destined to repeat them." and see if that applies somewhere in your life?Would you rather see the mistakes that other people make and do them all yourself in the (mistaken) knowledge that you must know better than everyone else and it won't happen to you?This repetition of mistakes is exactly what happens in Australian society at a governmental level every single day. Instead of looking at (eg) Europe and/or America and seeing what they have done (as their societies are vastly older than our own) and thinking: "Hmmm, they tried *this* to overcome *that* and it didn't work, so we'll try another method." – every goddamn level of bureaucrat in this country, if they're even aware of anyone else trying to resolve the problem, will go: "They tried it but I know better than a genuine multicultural society that is centuries older and I know I will succeed where they have failed…"Examples? Where do I start?- Unleaded petrol.- Heroin shooting rooms.- disarming the people.- over-regulating the people.- over-taxing the people….and I can make the list go on and on and on.At the level of the individual: how about those we know when we're younger who get involved with dirtbags/idiots/leaches/trash and they can end up paying for it for many years after (usually involving children). Even the bad choices of friends can affect our lives for years after.My mum used to reiterate the saying about "…laying down with dogs and getting up with fleas…" and it is a bona-fide truth if ever there was one.I suppose a telling factor in society now is that it has almost become acceptable to dodge responsibility for your actions and be able to blame anyone and everyone for the problems you caused for yourself. Is it any wonder that society is going downhill at an accelerated rate where the thinking members of society seem to be required to dumb themselves down to the lowest common denominator (a good example here would be holders of a Queensland Drivers Licence – particularly those in 4WD's in the SE corner) rather than requiring the lower-performing members of society to get their collective heads out of their backsides and stop making excuses for being a waste of oxygen. If they're not going to be a useful member of society, then just trundle down to the local zoo and become an exhibit so that the animals can live free. Of course, my definition of a useless member of society is one who indulges in drugs and thinks that the world can tolerate their drunken and selfish ways but that will be different for all of us.So, Ravenwing – my suggestion is: rather than flipping that coin and doing the things that you want to do in order to "live" – put the coin on it's edge and allow yourself to live – but retain the ability to recognise the situations that can only end in disaster.

  2. Ravenwing
    August 31, 2009

    Lol. I only meant to take a risk every now and then, not walk into clear, outright disasters. Life is not in drugs. I agree with you there.I was thinking more along the lines of relationships and impulsive adventures. Just because I know something will not last forever does not mean it won't have something to show me in the short term.

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This entry was posted on August 5, 2009 by in Living fully.
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Department of Words

Department of Words

Thinker. Writer. Photographer. Dancer. Not necessarily in that order.

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