The Grey Chronicles

2009.April.30

The Middle Word in Life



They say life is mysterious, we never know where it might lead us.

In 1989, after reading somewhere that those words were: If Only, I wrote a poem The Saddest Words, some of the verse were:

“If I could not change the world
     I rather not change me.

“I might believe in fate
     But I possess free will.

“The choice is mine to live at best;
     Still it’s my doing if I do less.
     And my doing it great.”

These words ring true as it was written before. Especially at this time of great economic crisis. Life is what we really make it. It is a continuous stream of alternatives. This or that, make or break, stay or leave, fight or flight, run or hide, here or there, the list is endless!

For some, life is ruled by fate. At first, fate might have played a role in whether we were born rich or poor. In our young age, our parents might have chosen some for us, or forced some of it, yet, in some way led us to that mythical path of right and wrong. Yet, a right maybe wrong for others, and the vice versa is also true.

When we became thinking adults, each choice we made are our own—forced to or led to. The choices we made were tempered by our very own human intuition or animal instinct; personal and shared experiences; innate and hidden talents; given and acquired knowledge; basic and learned skills; and, physical and mental abilities.

Life is neither a Rubik’s cube where we only have to realign the colors of six faces; nor an mumbled web of three-dimensional strings that follow some cosmic rules. But rather, life is an unending, yet intricate, network path of choices.

To some, life becomes a passion to better their lot, or at least make it better than what their parents offered. To others, life becomes a life-long search for perfection, utopia or nirvana. Some might even resign to what fate offered and tend to just make the best of it.

When we grow old, we may have the courage to look back at where our choices led us. Some of us might think that If only I have chosen that one alternative in the past, I might have been on the other side of it. Others would say: Why dwell on the past, when the future is clear! Still others would claim, We cannot safely go to where the future would lead us, until we truly understand the past.

Be that as it maybe, regret is as universal as laughter and tears. Regret, truly, makes us human. Without which, who’s to say that we have lived our lives to the fullest, except us. We become what we are because of what we chose to do.

For some, life is trial and error. We choose which trials to take, and accept what errors we make. In errors, only two things are certain: consequence and insight. The consequences might be harsh, but we may become resilient in the long run. The insights might come late, but we learn from our mistakes. We might bow not to repeat the same, but sometimes we might not anticipate that the same things happening again in the future even under different circumstances or rules. This only goes to show that we might have never learned the lesson during the first time.

Lest we forget: the middle word in life is IF.


Notes:

For the complete text of the poem, refer to The Saddest Words, hosted by Geocities.

Disclaimer: The posts on this site does not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.

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