Posts Tagged ‘what-if’
Ruminating On Paths Taken And Not Taken
Today the BC Supreme Court released a decision which finds changes made to the collective agreement with teachers in British Columbia, specifically those around class size and composition, unconstitutional. In addition, the court awarded the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) $2 million in damages which the provincial government must now pay.
That’s what I should probably talk about today given my role in BC’s public education system, but there are too many unknowns at this point, including the government’s response, and I don’t have enough details for an informed comment.
Not that I have answers to the other topic which I’ve been pondering.
George Bernard Shaw famously said, “Youth is wasted on the young” and we often hear the phrase, “If I only knew then what I know now.”
In a similar vein, I’ve thought of this: there is no undo/redo.
Computer programs have undo/redo, commands that allow us to zip back and forth in our work or our game to the point before we made an error or made a choice which we no longer support or chose a path which has not led us to the desired outcome.
In life, however, there is no undo/redo. As much as people advocate for a philosophy of “no regrets” I think that’s simplistic and difficult to apply in our own lives.
Because if we are honest with ourselves, there are regrets. We recognize points along the way where we made choices which were not good ones or decisions which didn’t play out the way we hoped they might or where we passed up an opportunity which, with hindsight, we think may have worked out better although there’s never any guarantee it would have.
I also think the idea of living in the moment, while it has merits, is not the answer either because we are not creatures of the moment: we have a past that has shaped us and we have a future which beguiles us.
The question becomes how to reconcile ourselves with our choices and with their outcomes.
It’s difficult to do when we hit those bumps in the road where each and every decision is up for evaluation. Where the “what-if” game becomes the one haunting us in the present. Where our confidence and our understanding of who we are takes on the metaphorical aspect of a cannibal rat ghost ship.
And we’re lucky if we find our way before circumstances intervene to make a situation worse or to take the journey along life’s path out of our control.
And while there is no undo/redo, there is try which puts me at odds with Yoda, the Jedi Master in Star Wars. With deference to the green sage, sometimes all we can count on is try.
Because without try, there is no possibility of change.
And change, according to ancient philosophies, is the only constant.