Choosing the Best Fork in the Road

During my lifetime, I’ve spoken with various folks who’ve expressed regret regarding some of the decisions they’ve made in their life. Most wished they could go back and make better choices. I’m certain had they done so, they could’ve ended up in worse condition since any change can lead to unforeseen consequences, not all pleasant, and some possibly downright disastrous. I have found that regret is useless. The best we can do is to ignore other’s opinions and let our heart, or call it intuition, lead. Our mind tends to overthink and create anxiety. The heart rarely steers us wrong!

The Auto Mechanic’s Wish

Perhaps an auto mechanic wishes he had gone in a different direction.  If he had gone to college, he could’ve become an executive running an auto parts company. He envisions his life would be better and happier as a result.

What if he actually had made the college choice? Who’s to say he wouldn’t have become a politician (yuck! No time for family), become a drug addict (worse? divorced/homeless), not met his wonderful wife (very sad), not had his four children he loved dearly (much sadder), nor any other of the endless possibilities that could’ve happened? I almost forgot the years of paying off the $200,000 loan for that education(triple yuck!!!).

Sure, it might’ve turned out better overall, but it’s a roll of the dice. At his moment of regret, wouldn’t it be a good time to count his many blessings instead of looking back on perceived failures?

What If We Could Change the Past?

I recently watched a TV series where people stuck in a horrid future went back in time to change events that had led up to the apocalypse they’d found themselves in. By studying the past history, they reasoned if they’d done things differently, it would’ve resulted in a healthy, stable future. They worked diligently to change key things in the past that they thought would prevent the catastrophe. When those exact changes did not bring about the desired future, they tried yet again and again. In all cases, it either didn’t result in a better future or made things far worse.

I Am Not Immune to Crossroads Anxiety

Like many, I’ve made choices I’ve mentally kicked myself over. If I’d only turned left instead of right, acted instead of sitting on the sidelines, and a big one – kept my stupid mouth shut instead of speaking (or shouting). Every moment of our existence finds us at a crossroads. Some are so insignificant we think they are unlikely to change our major path forward. Should I use “but” or “and” in this sentence? “Is this a place for a comma or semicolon?” Those seem unlikely to change my life. In the case of this article, “Should I finish this and send it to my editor?” Well, I think it might, when published, have a broad effect. (Or is the “keeping my stupid mouth shut” likely to apply?)

Which Fork in the Road Will Be Our Legacy?

At the present time, we have many problems we’re passing on to our children and grandchildren. We are constantly facing crossroads regarding our environment, societal challenges, and global conflicts. Are we agreeing on the paths forward for the best for all life? I think any reasonable person would answer with a resounding, NO!

Instead, we are blindly racing down a road to a calamity that we may not be able to reverse. When we reach a crossroads, will we, the creators of the mess – if we are not already dead – look back and say, “I wish I had taken a different road”? Unlike the Sci-fi story, we will be stuck with our decisions.

Sorry, there is no do-over. If we don’t get it right, we, or our descendants, will be stuck with the consequences.

Akshay Philosophical Life Lessons

2 Replies

  1. Good one Jerry. I concur. Those choices I may think were bad, in reality may have
    been the only thing that got me here, Right here, where I belong. Wake Up America.

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