I love it when someone says something, and it matches up really well with how I think about things. Here are a couple of examples.
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Thierry Henry is a footballer who was hugely successful playing for Arsenal, but has had less success at Barcelona this season, after his transfer. He has had injuries and people have suggested that he should not have left Arsenal. He said
"There has been since I arrived here a lot of speculation from day one but, hey, go back where? There's only one team for me in my heart. It took me a while to understand what that club, Arsenal, meant."
Did he regret moving, though?
"I don't regret stuff in my life. Stuff happens for a reason. You don't regret stuff that you thought about. I don't regret it."
He's right. If you think long and hard about a decision, it's much harder to regret it. If it goes wrong, you can forgive yourself, because it is impossible to see the future. Even if it was a mistake that somebody else could have forseen; if you could not have forseen it yourself, it was not a rash decision, it was hardly even a mistake. Maybe Thierry Henry would have been better to stay at Arsenal, but he will never know, so he's better not worrying about it.
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For some reason I have a little book of meditations from Marcus Aurelius, extracts from his writings in the 2nd century. I really should read more, because I like what he writes (Maxwell Staniforth's tranlation, published by Penguin):
"Were you to live three thousand years, or even thirty thousand, remember that the sole life which a man can lose is that which he is living at the moment; and furthermore, that he can have no other life except the one he loses." He explains, "the passing minute is every man's equal possession, but what has once gone by is not ours. Our loss, therefore, is limited to that one fleeting instant, since no one can lose what is past, nor what is yet to come"
I don't think this means that the past and the future are irrelevant. After all, both affect the present (or at least the expectation of the future affects the present). But death means that a person goes from existing in the present, to not existing. It is a complete, 100% change, no more and no less. It is a 100% change for everyone, no matter how long they have lived or who they are. I think it's important to realise that. Marcus Aurelius was a stoic. I got reading his wikipedia page and pages about stoicism. It is interesting, remind me to look into it in more detail sometime