Due to advances in technology, we interact with a lot of people through the internet. The virtual world is growing; people of various cultures meet and greet each other every day. So it’s natural to form judgments about people from their daily status updates or the views expressed online. However a lot of the time what it is not what it appears to be. We judge a person based on their knowledge, sexual orientation, vocabulary and religion. The online world offers a comfort for those who want to hide behind a mask of their fears. There are some who regret or worry and there are some who love to voice their anger at every possible thing wrong in their lives. These emotions earlier were bottled up, or they were written in diaries stored in locked cabinets. Today those same feelings are more open and out in the outside world, waiting to be judged. The online world serves as a free counselor – by discussing these feelings we are able to self-explore the hidden inhibitions that once were safely protected in the confines of our mind.
I always wanted to live a life without regrets. The day I die I want to look back at my life and have no regrets. However, as with everyone, I have regretted some decisions in my life. Some decisions were more catastrophe than others. My mother’s words ring in my head – everything happens for the best. I even believe that myself. But there have been instances where I could have done things differently. I could have used my heart instead of my head or vice versa. I could have comforted my mother more when she needed me instead of worrying about my next paycheck. We constantly are playing out scenarios in our head that we could have done differently. I am waiting to reboot like an electronic device, which needs fixing.
My friends tell me that there is nothing you can do about the past, except for worry about it. The worry lines on my forehead are growing day by day. We read our horoscopes, tarot cards, and fortune cookies before the start of our day so as to worry less, or to brace ourselves for what is in store for us. I remember watching my mother, staring out of the window of her house. She pretended to be strong, but I could see the worried look on her face, her imminent doom clearly visible in those times of helplessness.
My favorite emotion of all is anger. As a teenager I was very short-tempered. I was not necessarily a tantrum-thrower. However if something hurt me, I would move to a corner of the house. And take a few hours to just let it go. The irony of my life was that my first job demanded that I be polite to screaming and abusing customers. I had to maintain my temperament in situations beyond my control. Even today, I know I have a temper but in the face of my child, I have controlled it to a greater extent than as a teenager.
All these emotions are interrelated. There is no sequence when each emotion surfaces. You can regret an action caused by anger or you can worry about the decision already taken. The question is how does one live without these. You cannot. All these emotions can be reduced but they cannot be eradicated. Our parents have regrets, worries and anger too. I haven’t yet seen a human being who can truly claim to be a man without regrets. If we make it out of this world with a fulfilled life with all its struggles and downfalls, I would then probably not have any regrets.
September 29, 2013.