Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thoughtful Thursday : In retrospect

Someone once asked me to name a weakness. And I said – retrospection. People call it the ‘power of retrospect’. But I’d rather say that it is a pain. How many times have you entered an exam hall wondering whether you prepared enough? How many times have you exited an exam wondering whether you wrote enough? How many times have you looked at your marks and wondered whether you could have done more? How many times have you given an interview and wondered whether you answered to people’s expectations? How many times have you sat down and asked, “Why did I say that?" How many times do you almost crucify yourself over a goal you could never have achieved? How many times have you tried to wonder whether a situation could have panned out differently, if only….. How many times have you said to yourself - 'If only hindsight were foresight, life would be so much easier'?

I seem to do it all the time. The net result is that I am always thinking. What if, whether, maybe, perhaps…. A couple of my friends have told me this as well. Maybe that’s why this place is the thought center! Do I engage in retrospection on purpose? Do I enjoy looking back and wondering whether I could have done more? Not really. But I try to convince myself that such retrospection is a means to improve. But an excess of anything can be painful. And this constant ‘if only I could turn back time’, only ends up giving me a morbid masochistic pleasure. Does my retrospection change the past events? No. Can it change the future course of events? Maybe. Since I might learn key things from my retrospection and operate differently when faced with a similar situation in future. But then that again is subjective, since fatalistically speaking, future events are already preordained, and so, technically all my retrospection activities combined cannot change what will happen in the future.

So can I wish that I want just sight and foresight- no hindsight at all? Again that's a tough thing to say. If I could actually foresee everything, I would actually know what I would do in a situation, long before the action would actually take place! In which case life itself would become so terribly predictable! So if hindsight were really foresight, would life be any better? Naaaaaah.

So at the end of it all, of what relevance is the sentence - 'If only I could turn back time'? If you ask me, I feel that I'd rather not give the sentence any more importance than saying that it is a very nice song by Aqua! And as for me, I am sure that I will be forced into a retrospective tailspin, soon after I hit the Publish button with cogitation over whether this post good enough!The answer to my tortuous retrospection - Even time can't tell.......

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