20 July 2011

Of regrets and the I told-you-so consequences

All of us have regrets. Something that we did well knowing well that we should not have but went ahead and did it. With the expected result. Remorse. It may have been something as minor as taking some pocket change from mum's purse and having to face the consequences on getting caught. Or something big like a husband who out of rage was responsible for killing his wife. Once the deed is done, then the regrets begin. That is unless the person involved is not of sound mind.
I hear these stories all around. They are the stuff magazines are made of. Some even come out as inspirational music serving a warning to others not to go down the same road. All serve to confirm that there are always consequences of not following the rules of life. Whether set by the state or church. I have heard such stories most of my life. Like the one of 20 year old Laban. I knew him way back as young boy. He was a classic case of a normal boy growing up in a city estate with a loving family. His parents worked hard to give him and siblings a noble life. But somewhere along the way Laban lost his track.
At 16, when most boys are in the discovery stage Laban discovered more than was good for his age. That, coupled with the pressure from friends was his undoing. And the start of his family's woes. He could no longer pass for the quiet boy we all knew in the neighborhood. Suddenly he did not care to go to school. Even after countless attempts to resolve the many issues he had with the adminitration which culminated in his getting expelled. And when after his parents tried to talk him into joining another school, he was least interested.
Laban now begun drinking most of the time. His mother would discover empty cans of beer in his room. He was not even trying to hide his bad behaviour. The neighbors begun to complain. Clothes had begun missing on the drying lines. Shoes could no longer be left outside their doors. And Laban's parents understood where all their missing cash ended up. Laban had found a way to service his new hobby. The drama continued for several years. His parents had to step in and bail him out every now and then. That was the norm in their lives for quite a while.
No one knows for sure what happened. Considering that all the threats, talks, then counselling had not helped to change his waywardness. But one day Laban changed. He says it was like he woke up to an  OMG realization. It hit him that he had lost so much. Like time that he should have been at school. That he had become a pain to his folks. It dawned on him that his former peers were now out of school and in college. That is the day last year, that Laban decided to pick up his life. He is lucky that he had supportive parents who agreed to put him back to school. And that is where he is now. Doing what he should have done four years back. And so full of remorse.
Not so many people are lucky to get away with few if any repercussions. Some people regret their actions for the rest of their lives. And end up adding misery to their loved ones too. Some actions have such dire consequences that they haunt a person for the rest of their living days. These are the ones that hurt most. When at a person reaches a point in their lives and they realise that they could have done it different. Better. This becomes a sore thumb in their lives. A constant reminder that maybe, just maybe they wish they had known better.
Makes me wonder why the sound of reason does not appeal until it is too late. Perhaps it is in exercising our free will that we often go offtrack. And with dire consequences that are often times life changing. Just maybe we should all think things over more before taking action. Especially if they are on the not-to-do list.

There are countless stories from people who take rebellion trips every now and then. We see it on the news every day. And different people have different ways of trying to rid themselves of guilt. Some take to drinking to try and momentarily forget their mistakes. But wake up to the same staring them in the face the following day. Or  take it out on others. Perhaps expecting to share their misery. Yet other people take time to look inward and search their very soul. Even turn to God for help. An act of surrender to a higher power to help. That in itself is a step towards recognising that human beings are bent on doing wrong and just their will power is not enough to stop them. Constantly.

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