REGRET

The right decision is only possible if it is preceded by the wrong decision.   This appears to be a quasi-metaphysical law.   It is also a great source of solace and inspiration when one is experiencing regret.   I have made decisions in my life that are so dumb, I can hardly believe that it was me, personally, who made them.   But I did, and I was doing ‘my best’ at the time.  The default response to memories of these is an illusory remorse - if only I’d gone the other way, etc.   But it is only from the post-decisional standpoint that I am able to weigh the options in this way.    An endeavor, in other words, is nothing but a a series of wrong decisions, followed by feedback.    We are wont to forget that the past itself is extremely malleable; we can’t remember what was at stake at the time, nor can we fully appreciate and take stock of what we’ve gained from the ‘wrong’ choice without noticing.    The only possible mistake is to lose sight of the reason we’re making decisions in the first place (in the name of what).  But even this mistake is ineluctable, a fundamental feature of subjectivity (forgetting and remembering one’s task in alternation).