“No regrets!” that’s the naive mantra of youth. At one time in my life, more than a decade ago, it was my motto, also. To live a life with no regret is synonymous with living life to the fullest and always making the right choice. Or, at least, being content with the decisions you make. Regret means to “feel sorry for something” (Word dictionary). The ingenuous of youth looks at this definition and thinks, “It’s wrong to feel sorrow.”
To live a life with no regrets is only possible in one of two ways:
One, you always make the right choice. You never, ever make a wrong decision. This is technically impossible. You will make the wrong choice from time to time. If you’re foolhardy enough to never second guess yourself, well, bully for you! But that doesn’t mean you choose wisely in every decision that you make.
Two, you never learn better. You remain locked in a state of immaturity that never lets you gain wisdom. I wish there was a better way to learn than by trial and error. But sometimes, there isn’t. Some things you do will work. Some won’t. It’s a part of life. But to never regret or feel sorrow for making a wrong decision, that implies a prideful will too stubborn to see error. Personally, I don’t want to be that kind of person.
I am going to continue to make mistakes. Some I will recognize instantly and others other time. In both cases I may feel the pangs of regret. But that’s okay because it shows I’m growing and getting wiser. The youth can keep their infallibility and boldly declare, “No regrets!” As for me, I prefer the wisdom that comes from penitence.