To have regrets would mean to have changed the course of the present. To state “I wish I had never met you” or “I wish I’d never done XYZ” could mean negating all the positive developments up to this point. Think about it! Would you have still achieved the goals you had? Painted that picture? Written that novel? Taken that cruise? It’s like in It’s A Wonderful Life, where George Bailey says to the angel Clarence, “I wish I’d never been born,” and he gets his wish, then sees what life would have been like had he never existed, with all of those lives he touched and set their paths in its motion. Do you have regrets? Yes, we all can say we have. So how do we deal with them? Life is a matter of attitude, discipline, and preservation of innocence. This is the motto that I came up with and try to live by. Attitude is how we perceive the world, discipline how we choose to react to the world, and Preservation of innocence never taking anyone or anything (or for that matter, life) for granted.
So do I have any regrets? When I look back and reflect, no, I actually don’t. What I do think is how could I have done things differently so I use these “experiences” as stepping-stones. How would my life have turned out had I never done that XYZ? To paraphrase the incredible Eartha Kitt, “Life is one big learning experience and your tombstone is your diploma!” So to state you have regrets – and I don’t mean regretting not having bought those shoes on sale, but the regrets that have made you who you are today. Some people will say that if you never have any expectations, than you will have no regrets. But, I say if you have no expectations, then you have no hope!
- Gary Schwartz is a composer, musician, counselor, writer, performer. Double majored in Behavioral Psychology and Music Composition. Worked as counselor through Whitman Walker Clinic, Gay Men's Counseling Collective, Hospice of Frederick County, Montgomery County Health Department and Frederick County Department of Social Services as Adult Foster Care. Gary currently teaches private piano, voice and composition and just finished his 19th year performing at MDRF!