How often do you look back in time and wish you had done things differently? I know I do. I second guess decisions I made, particularly as it concerns my stint at farming. There is a reason I call myself a recovering farmer. There are a host of regrets we have. However, you seldom hear of someone that regrets something positive in their life.
In a recent conversation I made the comment that if I had done things differently on the farm the results would have been better. (Although being a hog farmer my chances were slim based on the industry over the last years) The person I was chatting with made the comment that if I had done things differently it might have turned out even worse. That made me think.
I just finished reading a book. All 900 pages. A book by Stephen King. Not an author I particularly like. However I had been told that the book 11/22/63 was interesting. It was. Only about 450 pages too long. If you plan on reading it don’t read the rest of this paragraph. Might give away the plot and that would make it even longer. In the story a person travels back in time, from 2011 to 1963, to stop the assassination of JFK. Because he knows the details of what happened on that fateful day in 1963 he has the ability to stop it. He accomplishes the task, comes back to 2011, only to find that he has changed the course of history and the world is much worse off.
An interesting turn of events, to say the least. It hammered home the point I made previously. Perhaps if we were to turn back the clock things might turn out worse. Kind of defeats the purpose of having regrets. A paradigm shift, to say the least.
That then simply means we need to live with what we have. We live in an imperfect world. Crap happens. How we deal with that becomes the issue. Read a quote on Facebook this week which said “when something bad happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you”. Somewhat of a stark reality. When I look at those three options it would seem that the third one would be most conducive to a brighter future. When something bad happens let it strengthen you.
I have written in the past about different people I have met over the years. The gentleman that was in a horrific accident. The fellow who lost his eyesight. My friend who had cancer surgery. Kids that have experienced shattered dreams. All of them have shown incredible strength. Sure, in their darkest hours or days, they lament the negative events in their lives. We all do. However, in general, they have shown resilience that I can only learn from.
Another book that I have read more than once highlights the lives of numerous people who have had life changing events happen to them. The author, in the preface, makes an interesting point. “Without that which hurt them, derailed them, almost destroyed them, they might never have undergone the forced emotional evolution that gave birth to their new, stronger self.”
Someone once told me that had I not experienced what I did I would not be who I am today. Here is hoping that that was a positive statement. That may be true. But am I who I want to be? One of the people I mentioned above told me that he was getting tired of being an inspiration to others. Sometimes I feel that way. I just want to be normal. Then again, maybe, just maybe, I am. Make life changes before life changes. Make it a good one.