What should we do?
If a person has a conscience, and an answer to a problem, he will be compelled to help another person facing that same problem. Experience—knowing what someone is feeling in a certain circumstance—is a unique connection between humans who have, and are, facing similar issues. That connection may allow an interaction which will have a profound effect on both parties. But when that connection is avoided, both people are left in a void. The person with the firsthand experience who fails to act on his compulsion to help another in the same situation will never know what might have happened. He will always wonder if a few words offered to the troubled person could have made
a difference. That is regret.
Conversely, when that personal experience is shared with another in the same struggle you have endured, an emotional connection deeper than almost anything you’ve ever known is created. The
knowledge that someone else understands, and truly knows how he feels is more healing than hours of therapy. No longer feeling alone, he can draw from his ally’s strength, heal, and forge a bond which will never break.
Why do we not act when we should? Our hearts know what action should be taken, what words should be spoken. Something stops us. Fear. The fear of failure, the fear of ridicule, of rejection, of
embarrassment. Yet, are these valid consequences? What harm does it do to endure any of those negative possibilities? No skin off your nose, as the saying goes. You tried. If you don’t at least try, regret will result.
Case in point: a former classmate from high school sent me a manuscript to review. I read a little of it and put it off for later. That friendsuddenly died. And I never talked to him about his manuscript. In fact, I still have it, this true story of a grackle who became friends with this man. I heartily regret not talking to him about it, polishing it and putting it out for people to enjoy. And that situation cannot be corrected. He is gone. The opportunity has passed.
As humans we need each other. I try to do some good deed every day, smile and be pleasant to everyone I meet, and attempt to positively touch their lives in whatever way possible. Unresolved unfinished business is contrary to our nature. We want a task to be over, done and move on to the next one. Do not let opportunities to help another person pass you by. If you think to take that action later, it might be too late.
Consider this quote from Zachary Scott – 2/21/14 – 10/3/65, native Texan and actor.
As you grow older, you’ll find the only things you regret are the things you didn’t do.
© Copyright 2013 Elaine Fields Smith. All rights reserved.