I have always said that children represent human nature in it’s purest form. Happy, selfish, and carefree. It isn’t until we become adults that we realize how blissful ignorance truly is. That we become envious of the simplistic life children have. Void of all the pressures and failures life has yet to bestow on their little shoulders. Ah, to be a kid again. If I knew then what I know now. But is it really that simple? Could this advanced knowledge really make a difference? Unfortunately the answer is no.
Why is that? Why wouldn’t a warning to our younger selves serve a deterrent to damaging behavior? The answer is quite simple. We would be too ignorant to appreciate the heads up. Fact of the matter is, we did have such a mechanism. It was called our parents (for those that had good ones), or some other adult trying to guide us in the right direction. Sometimes we listened, but for the most part we did what we wanted. Too busy being happy, selfish, and care free. But that is the way it should be. Our mistakes mold us into the people we become, good or bad. Without them, how could you even tell the difference?
Understanding this has taught me just how insignificant regrets really are. Having them doesn’t change a damn thing. Experiencing them is what gave you the wisdom to recognize them as regretable. If everything would have worked out, they would instead be accomplishments. Life would’ve just had a different lesson to teach us. Walk around with a cup, life kicks you in the chest. Add a padded vest, life kicks you in the teeth. Put on a protective helmet, life shoots you in the knee caps. I think you’re starting to get the picture. It’s hard to see the snake coming when you’re lost in the dark with no flashlight.
Examples of this surround us, but we’re still stupid enough to think that we can avoid these mishaps if we just channel our inner Spike Lee and do the right thing. Look at Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple. Billionaire. His company booming with profits out the roof. Had to resign because of cancer. Money couldn’t save him. Look at the tornados that struck Alabama earlier this year. Those things didn’t care if you were white, hispanic, Christian, Muslim, or Jew. Hundreds dead. God couldn’t save them. Look at Hurricane Irene that just devestated the east coast. Days of advance warning. Evacuation measures were put in place. People still decided to wait it out. 24 dead. Even knowing danger was coming couldn’t save them.
I am by no means a pessimist. Nor am I trying to paint a grim and hopeless picture of what life is. I just believe that if you understand the negative, you can appreciate the positive just that much more. Life is too short to constantly worry about what could happen or what did happen. You can’t change or control either. You can only appreciate every moment that you’re here, and make the most out of the time you have. If you’re older, be thankful for the wisdom you have gained, and understand you still have a lot left to learn. If you’re young, live it up while you can and bask in your ignorance. Because you learn as you get older that life doesn’t believe in vaselene. When you’re screwed, you’re screwed. All you can do is hope that the mistakes you make don’t strike you out before you even leave the damn dugout.
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