Mistakes and Wrongs

I’ve made so many mistakes over the course of my life. And I’ve committed so many wrongs.

Many of my mistakes haunt me when I think of them. Each one undoubtedly set my life on a different course. When I think of them I sometimes want to punch myself in the face and mutter “Stupid, stupid, stupid!”

If the “many-worlds” interpretation of quantum physics is correct, there are countless versions of me out there who didn’t make the same mistakes I’ve made (they made other mistakes). I wonder what those versions are experiencing as a result. What mistakes did I avoid making?

And when I think of the wrongs I’ve committed… if I believed in punishment rather than justice, as so many do, I would probably kill myself.

I never did anything like robbery, rape, kidnapping, or murder, but wrong enough that I wish I hadn’t done them.

One good thing is that I haven’t committed as many wrongs since my early 20s or so. I’m sure I’ve committed smaller wrongs, but nothing I dwell on. I’ve focused more on making mistakes since then.

No matter what anyone else thinks of me, I’m my own worst critic. But the cats love me.

I do think I’m getting better with the passing years. Coming to understand rights and responsibilities was a big part of that improvement. The best anyone can do is to be a better person than year-ago you was.

I also have to remember that in very real ways, I am not that same person I was. Not only have all my cells been replaced since then, but my mind has other contents. I’m a different person than I was when I was 20 or 30, and certainly different than when I was a teen. At some point you’ve got to let the past be the past and move forward. Remember and enjoy the good parts of the past; let go of and forgive yourself for the bad parts. That will help make you a better person, too.

Now, if I could really convince myself of this and put it into action. It’s a process.

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Kent McManigal

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