Regrets – Reminders of What Could Have Been

When I look back into my life I see a shadow of what happened and sometimes I wonder of what could have been. With hindsight, it feels like one should have known all along the results of our actions. If I had taken her to my apartment…, if I had taken that memo out of the briefing…, if …. Once we know the right answers to an exam, we can fantasize going back and ace it. The short term consequences of these alternative happenings might be more or less predictable but as time goes on it is impossible to tell if the future of the alternative past is better, worst, or even comparable to our actual present.
Hindsight bias, also known as the knew-it-all-along effect or creeping determinism, is the inclination, after an event has occurred, to see the event as having been predictable, despite little or no objective basis for predicting it, prior to its occurrence. Hindsight bias may cause memory distortion, where the recollection and reconstruction of content can lead to false theoretical outcomes. A person believes he or she “knew it all along”. Such examples are present in the writings of historians describing outcomes of battles, physicians recalling clinical trials, and in judicial systems trying to attribute responsibility and predictability of accidents.
You know (in a way) the way it was but it is impossible to know what could have been.
Regrets distort reality not only in the objectivity of causal dynamics but also in the subjective perception of our emotions. The pleasures and expectations I get from my dreams can never be matched by achieving them.
Real things are more complex and fuzzy than the ideas inside my head, but more important I have only one life, one moment to live and I can only experiment one thing. Once I do, all the I coulds are wasted and gone. There is an old tale that explains this: A man goes on the jungle when he realizes that a Tiger is stalking him. He falls into a panic and runs into a cliff. He rolls down the step and grabs a bush to stop the fall. He sees that another Tiger is waiting for him at the base of the cliff. At that moment a couple of rats start to mince the base of the bush and the man is certain to fall into the Tiger below. Then the man notices some berries just within his reach. He grabs them and his mouth is filled with the refreshing taste of the berries.


About arnulfo

veterano del ciberespacio
This entry was posted in Alan Watts, संसार, Buddhism, culture, wikipedia and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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