Gillian - Western Springs, Illinois
Entered on February 8, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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“Live with no regrets? … I regret something every day of my life,” said Chicago-based author and spoken word artist Christopher Gutierrez in one of his spoken word CDs. People are always saying, “Live without regrets” or “Never look back on the past,” but honestly, that’s just impossible. The past is what makes the future and time is all relative. You can’t plan for the future without considering the past, that’s just irresponsible. People cannot grow without regretting to do something better or to love more, this I believe.

The first time I realized this truth was probably in 8th grade, when I felt like I really started to acknowledge the world outside the state boundaries. It was around the time I first went to a speaking by one of my idols, Christopher Gutierrez A.K.A. “HeyChris.” He talks a lot about how we are not all born as “unique little snowflakes, unless you want to believe that there are 6 billion unique little snowflakes on this planet.” When I went to his speaking, I saw how invested he was in his ideas and it got me thinking and listening a lot more. It’s one thing to hear what someone’s saying, but it’s another thing to really listen to their ideas. HeyChris really got me thinking about how I regret that I don’t do more for people everyday. I cannot just forget about the fact that I let opportunities to love and show people I care more pass me by all the time. I regret that fact so that the next time I get the opportunity to be more compassionate or to be a better person I will be less eager to pass it up.

Loving is not the only thing I have regrets about. I regret the mistakes I have made in the past that have had negative consequences on my future. I believe people have to think about that. There are many aspects of one’s past that they cannot just let go of and forget about if they want to do better or not make the same mistakes in the future. I believe this is an important life lesson. Just because something is unpleasant doesn’t mean you can just refuse to face it. True, there may be some instances where the past is tough to face, but the difficult parts can be overcome, and that’s where the loving aspect of my beliefs ties in. There are always instances where I regret not doing more to show that I love someone and I’ve learned to be more loving through that regret. My learning to love more has helped me cope with difficult events in my life. You cannot go through life regretting nothing and expect to grow in love, this I believe.