Monday, June 4, 2012

No Regrets

He who lives without folly isn't as wise as he thinks.

Francois Rochfoucauld
Hello Frosty
The old conductor had retired and was moving back to his home in Europe. As he packed up to go he was going through his belongings, deciding what to take and what to leave behind. A young member of his staff was helping him.

The maestro was carefully turning the pages of an orchestra score when he asked his assistant what it was. The young man replied that it was the first symphony by some not too well known composer. Then he told the old man that he had conducted the world premier of the work many years ago.

"I did?"
"Yes sir."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes Maestro."

The conductor stared at the score, shook his head and said "I was a fool."

Who hasn't done things that left a record for all to see of our extreme silliness and incapacity to live a reasonable life. It is after all the exercise of putting the foot in the mouth and the egg on the face that teaches us fundamental things that perhaps we should have known but didn't at the time.

Like the maestro, I could give you a short list of plays I wish I hadn't done and performances I wish I hadn't given. But just to preserve my peace of mind, I won't. I will tell you this however. The quickest way to learn how someone's name is pronounced is to mispronounce it while announcing on the radio. Before you finish speaking the phone is ringing.

If we aren't careful our folly will be echoed years later by regrets. We can really mess up our lives with regrets. Regrets are like a sore toe that you keep stubbing, or wearing too tight clothes. or a leaky faucet that won't get fixed, or having doggy poop on your shoe.

Doing foolish things are payments we make for growing up and growing wise. The man or woman who leeds a squeaky clean life, with nary a folly to their names, who congratulate themselves for their prudence and circumspection are living on credit and sooner or later the piper will get the best dance out of them he can. The best thing is learn the lesson, remember it and then forget how you learned it. And pass the wisdom along. You just might save another egg.

DB - The Vagabond
Never give up.


Geo. said...

"...learn the lesson, remember it and then forget how you learned it."

Ah, if was only that simple! I have kids in their 30s and 40s who can tell me precisely what kind of idiot I am --yet that too was instructive to them and they still love me. So I guess it's valuable knowledge. Great post, DB.

pacific62 said...

My life, too, is riddled with foolish foibles.I would like to think I have grown up and gotten wiser because of or in spite of them. When I reminisce about some of the more silly faux pas, I can laugh about them now so they have not scarred me for life and instead they are a source of entertainment in my senior years.