Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I Could Have ...

This is not about regret, rather, about alternate unreality.

I could have gone to law school.

I could have gone to medical school.

I could have become a politician to represent many of us.

I could have become a professional soldier.

I could have become a higher-ranking professional in law enforcement instead of choosing to remain on the street.

I could have succumbed to the charms of that sweet young woman while in college.

I could have stepped out into that line of fire.

The only regret I have is what I had not done when I should have.

Decisions at any time are based on wisdom and current data. Hindsight comes from the future; therefore, it is not available at the time of decision. Pity.

I stand by what I actually had done. Right or wrong, I took it from there, for that is reality. It is the sum of my deeds, and I accept the fallout. I can never go back to change course.

I don’t blame another person for what could or would not happen. My own decision always made the difference. Using blame is convenient, but worthless. Even blaming myself for bad decisions is worthless. My bad decisions may have hurt others, but guilt about those decisions hurt only me, and will change nothing. Right or wrong, past decisions may drive me in a different direction, but reality is always from there on. Taking responsibility for my decisions is a measure of my worth.

I have consciousness, therefore, I have free will. Only when free will is taken from me do I become blameless. But that is a paradox.


VeezKnight said...

Interesting post.

I recall reading something voiced by Jews who survived Nazi concentration camps during WWII. They have indicated that yes, the Nazis surely succeeded in physically taking away their free will. They worked them, starved them, tortured them and decided if, when and how they would die.

And yet, in that the Nazis could not control how their prisoners thought about themselves, the Jews remained purveyors of their own dignity and self-respect. Not even the Nazis could completely rob them of their free will, even if that free will took place only in their mind.

Based on that, are we ever truly blameless for what happens in, around and to us?

Susan's Pet said...

Veez, I have not heard from you in ages. It is good to know that you are still reading.

I am a student of what you speak, because of a number of reasons. Primarily, if we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it, and the Nazi annihilation of Jews is not something that should have been done, let alone be repeated.

I have done some reading and studying of thoughts recorded by the people who have gone through the process. It should be required reading in college. Alas, today, crap is more preferred than important things.

There was one book that I remember reading. I cannot reproduce the title or the author. The man’s name may have been Frankel, but I am not sure. One thing stands out of my early research of this is how he had maintained his dignity against all odds. Even at the end of all hope to clinging to life, he had his self-esteem. He had his free will. He overcame the will of all those against him.

As to your poignant question, “are we ever truly blameless for what happens in, around and to us?” I tend to say, NO! We can be limited physically, in which case we are blameless for the moment. But there are always implications in how we got ourselves into it, and what have we not done to get out of it. Giving up is the final decision in free will, then again, at that time there is nothing left, including free will.

The severe case of the victims of the Nazi concentration camps are a good example of what can and cannot be done by an individual. Yet, there have been cases when individuals organized as a group, and became victorious, at least to the extent of making a statement of their plight.

Killing a victim under these circumstances was final, but not necessarily triumphal by the killer. The killer would have to live with his decision. Some could not do so, and took their own life in attempt to atone. There went another free will, but it was too late and pointless.

Harry said...

Susan's pet: Did you mean Viktor Frankel's "Man's Search for Meaning?"

Susan's Pet said...

Harry, you could be right. I still have the book, then again, I have thousands of them, so it would take some effort to ascertain. Thanks for pointing that out.