This I Believe

Megumi - West Nyack, New York
Entered on November 12, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem
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I believe that life should be without regret. I don’t mean the little things like, “Damn, I should have brought an umbrella” or “Ugh, I shouldn’t have eaten that ice cream…or the chocolate,” but the big ones. The ones that fill me with unbearable remorse, the ones that haunt my memories are the regrets that I would like to live without.

I don’t know if it’s possible for anyone to live a whole life without regret. For me, at least, it’s already too late. There are plenty of things that if I could go back in time and change, I would. Every lost opportunity, every wasted second, every misplaced or stolen cent, the times I lied, the times I blamed someone else, and the times I hurt someone; I would like to take them all back, but of course, I cannot. However, I don’t want to waste to any more time regretting my actions. I’m still young and I’m sure that I will have plenty of chances to make the right choices and even if I make the wrong ones, they won’t be something to regret.

If I do what I think is right and follow my beliefs, then even if I were to fail I would not lament it. It is possible to learn from my failed attempts and the errors I have made to become a better person. But if I make someone cry, even someone I hate, no matter how many laughs there are before and after, and even if I am forgiven, I’ll regret it. I think a little more care is worth not having that feeling. The freedom that comes from having a clear mind is something I want to have until the moment of my death.

My belief has become the basis of my decision-making. Whenever my mind or heart wavers, I can think to myself, “Is this worth it? Am I going to regret doing this, or will I regret not doing it?” It may not be the best way to think, but this way no matter what happens or when it happens, I will be able to look back at it without shame or anguish. I want to make the best of the life that I have and not lament over what could have been.

Most of the things I have regretted were things that didn’t need to happen. When I know that I could have prevented it, that’s when I feel the most remorse. I only have one life. I can’t go back and I can’t do everything over. But there are still many adventures I want to experience, places I want to see, and goals I want to accomplish. If I keep looking back I will always be looking and missing what’s in front of me. That is why I believe that the way to live the rest of my life is without regret.