fail flat on your face.

im in montreal, walking up and down the streets, exploring in stereotypical fashion, when i glace up and see a sunglass’ advertising that says ‘no regrets’. no regrets? really? people still say that, or rather people still believe that?

to live without regrets is ridiculous, it would in essence be saying that every decision you had made in the past was either the correct one, it was stupid and you don’t care, or you had a lobotomy and are lethargic.

we have to live with regret, it haunts some of us every day, for others we drowned it in substance, entertainment, or preoccupation. making bad decisions is a part of life, but we learn from them and we move on, constantly aware of our weakness and trying at all costs to avoid it. to say ‘no regrets’ is to fail flat on our face stand up, throw our fist and cheesy mantra in the air and fail again with no regard for our own human dignity or responsibility.

the ad was 2 couples all wearing sunglass’ sitting in each others laps, as if to say, ‘something happened last night and we don’t care.’ congratulation’s? you just slept around and instead of feeling guilty or at the very least feeling kind of sleezy you just woke up sat in your partners laps and then put on sunglasses? i just want you to look your parents in the face and right after you tell them your pregnant yell ‘no regrets!’. or better yet when your at the doctor and he says ‘i am so sorry i have bad news about something you have contracted’ you get on the examining table and yell ‘no regrets’ then march out of his office singing a clash song.

so learn from what you have done wrong, after all who cares that you messed up! we all do! it is what happens from this day forth that matters.

to error is human, to put sunglasses on afterwards and do the same thing over again is just stupid.


Renny said…

I love you and I love your blog posts. I love that you wrote this, and I agree with nearly every word of it except 1, "apart." Only because the grammar nazi inside me cannot let this go. "Making bad decisions is apart of life" = wrong. "a part" of life would be correct.

Don't take my meaningless grammar comment to mean I don't care about what you said. I'm glad you said it. I've just got my own ridiculous soapbox because I seem to see that everywhere lately, and it stabs me in the gut every time.

But on the substance of what you wrote. Yes yes yes, I agree, 100%.

My mom never understood people that "picked their battles" with their kids. "If you don't learn there are consequences for small mistakes you make, what will happen when you make a big mistake?"
San Miguel Cristo said…
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San Miguel Cristo said…
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-lindsay- said…
i'm writing a paper on the performance of 'cabaret' i saw last month...

'life is a cabaret old chum, come to the cabaret...'
sally certainly didn't have regrets.

welcome to the popular happy-go-lucky society where nothing is wrong...
or is it?
CCCP said…
"to error is human, to put sunglasses on afterwards and do the same thing over again is just stupid."

and THAT, is why i read your blog posts X)
Elraen said…
That last paragraph alone made this blog post totally worth it.

On a more serious note though, I agree absolutely. Even to view "no regrets" as something to strive for is rather foolish and unrealistic. It's only in failing that we understand grace. It's only in regrets that we accept redemption.
Izzy Andrade said…
Absolutely beautiful writing and insight. Loving every word I read on this blog Stephen. Love you music, love more your lyrics to that music, but your writing I have fallen in love with.
TIM said…
Cheers Stephen, well said, though I'd disagree with the idea that to error is human. Before the fall humans were created to not error, and Jesus was the perfect human and did not error. To error is a result not of the fact that we are human but that we are fallen - a far cry from what God intended us to be. To error is not natural but an unnatural thing and while some things should appropriately be regretted we should not simply shrug it off saying, "I'm only human." We are very human - wonderfully and amazingly so - and so should respond to our errors by praying for redemption and praising and thanking God and celebrating that He has made forgiveness possible and that we need not be slaves to sin but can be slaves to righteousness instead. We should be asking God when we regret to make us more human - not less - we should aim to move forward to the perfect humans that we will be when Jesus returns, not pray that God would be making us into something else entirely that doesn't error.
Amy said…
regret has no purpose if there is no change in future actions,
which strangely I've found is easier said than done.

humans are diseased through and through.
Anonymous said…
Living with regret is a big part of life and will either become a friend or a foe. The secret is to not let the ghost in the room control you, but gently guide you.

If you ignore her you are most likely denying a part of your soul and living a cold existence. Don't be fooled, she will not allow you to forget her and will show up when you least expect her! She will grow to be a monster.

If you listen to her and take her in, she will be a companion that helps you step in the right direction, always watching out for your best interests.

I don't believe it's possible to get away from regret. It's up to you how you treat her!
Anonymous said…
hey renny,

i will probably regret this, but i am really glad stephen has terrible grammar. it reminds me he is human, otherwise he is very intimidating.

Caity said…
I've truly never thought of the concept of regrets in this way. I absolutely adore what you said about this though, it resonates with me, it makes sense to me.

I've always been the type of person to hide from my regret, but despite my constant need to hide away from it, it's always been there. I can fake a smile and pretend I have no regrets all I want, but the truth is, when I'm alone inside of myself, my regret takes over me. But, then, it's that regret that allows us to move forward and become a better person.

Without regret, we stay stuck in the same place we've always been.

Wow. I really hadn't thought about it that way before, thanks Stephen.
Bacon's Bits: said…
I think people view "regret" with negative connotations and when analyzing their past, they hesitate to use that word because they feel the word means something worse than it really is. People do look back on their actions and want a redo or learn what they could do differently in the future, but erroneously don't classify that as regret.

Same with music and the word "emo." Calling a bad emo comes across as a diss, even if the music that band plays is actually emo music.
DaphnetheGreat said…
Renny - Terrible Nazi you are... you missed the "your"/"you're" - my pet dislike ;)

LOL at Anonymous 2:56 PM - Wish you'd left your name :)

Ah.. I'm one of those crazy people, I'd like to think, will live a no regrets kind of life.. any mistake I make kind of moulds me and changes me.. ergo.. I wouldn't want to regret it, as it changed me somehow.. Just another opinion.. Saying that, I do wish I wore kitchen mittens while taking out cupcakes baked last time (instead of thinking I was super-woman).. Is that regret? Oh well.. C'est la vie..

Side note - Isn't Montreal such a colourful city?
Merian said…
If you wish to understand it that way it is True. No regrets is just a stupid phase for stupid people?

But if you try and think it the other way, why wish that something that gave you a good lesson didn't happen? I don't think regretting and learning from choices and things we do are same process. Are they? Or is admitting one decicion not good the key part of regretting? For me, regret is a association of "god I wish that never happened" spiced with guilt and shame. Then again I can honestly say I've learned so much of those things I "regret" that I really cant say they shouldn't have happened. For without them I wouldn't learned many lessons of life.
So what I'm saying is that it's hugely a matter of perspective. The only things I can say I regret from my point of view are those done to hurt others.

And I'm aware MY grammar sucks ;) don't really writer nor speak English that often.
Raechel said…
Haha! Excellent! Great perspective, as always!

Reminds me of those sunglasses ads that say "Never Hide." Those make me want to rant as well.
Shanrocks777 said…
If you learn and grow from your mistakes, then saying that you have no regrets isn't pompous, but responsible. In the 'typical' view of the phrase, "I have no regrets", yes it can appear a shallow statement and a rebellious excuse for someone who refuses to change. But for someone who is introspective, feels deeply, and is constantly assessing her life and her decisions, it's a valid statement of integrity. I've had plenty of remorse for certain things that have happened in my life, but in the grand scheme of things, I don't believe anything can ever be utterly regretful if put in the proper context from the point of error onwards. How can you regret something that can make you a better person? I think we're on the same page here, judging by your explanations, though, Stephen.

To elaborate, I have a quote from the movie Twilight written on a piece of paper on my computer desk:

"Make as many mistakes as you can, that way when the next time you're asked what you want to be, you'll know."
Absolutely beautiful writing and insight. Loving every word I read on this blog Stephen. Love you music, love more your lyrics to that music, but your writing I have fallen in love with.
Hannah said…
This is such a great blog and is so true. I agree with you. I have regret in my life and there are so many things i wish i could do over again. Everyone messes up but really?? "No regrets"??

Anyways, I really don't have anymore to add to this except to say you are so right, Stephen. Great post! You are truly a great writer and i love reading your blog posts.
Anonymous said…
I don't agree entirely. I enjoy the phrase 'No regrets', though not in the context of the advert you saw. In that sense, it is promoting a certain lifestyle and mentality that is certainly unhealthy.

HOWEVER, I do have a tendency to tell others that I have no regrets. This is not to say that I like/enjoy all of the things I've done and the decisions I have made. I have made many poor decisions and suffered guilt and other consequences as a result. But, through those consequences, I have learned and grown as a person. I do not regret the mistakes I have made and I would never do anything to change them, if anything because of the fact that I have learned NOT to do those things again.

I'm not promoting the idea of intentionally making mistakes for the sake of learning, though. It is always something that should be avoided. Your actions/decisions affect others, not only yourself. And saying that you were only trying to learn from your mistakes is no excuse. It's very important to give apologies where apologies are due in that case, which involves swallowing your pride.

The only reason I might ever wish to have not made a mistake is because of how it has affected the people I love. That is the worst part of any potential "regret" in my mind.

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