Monday, July 14, 2008

Regrets?

For most of my life I have been able to truthfully say that if I were to suddenly die the next day I would not look back on my life and regret anything. I have never been one of those people that puts off things until the future. If I want to travel around the world, I do it. If I want to move to China... well... I do. In the past I have followed my heart without regret, determined to never look back on my life and say, "I wonder what would have happened if I had had the guts to do what I wanted." 

It's not always easy. In fact, it's often downright terrifying to do what I want to do. Other times it's easy, but mostly it's hard work that is well rewarded. I bring all this up because recently I have become a little disappointed in myself. I know what I want but am scared to jump. I'm letting small things hold me back. Years from now, if I am able to reflect upon this time in my life, I will probably not regret it. My fear, though, is that I will never make it to that point. 

Life scares me. Not because I'm afraid to live it, but because I'm afraid to lose it. The fact that I have come to fear death scares me more than anything because I was never really scared of dying before. I always felt a sort of immunity knowing that I had done everything I wanted up until that very moment. True, my life would have been short and unfinished, but I would have died happy. Of course there are little things that I would miss or wish I had done, like tell my family I loved them more and showed my appreciation for the people and world around me more than I have, but nothing life-changing. I've lived a charmed life, and I haven't let the negativity of the world around me drag me down too much. Nor have I ignored it.  

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I have an intense interest in human nature. This is manifested in my interest in genocide, war, politics, human rights, and an infinite amount of similar things that all represent some aspect of human nature. I want to figure out what it is that drives people. Why do we all think that we are immune to the shortcomings of others? Can we really be so ignorant as to think that all the warriors of the past were savages and all the victims innocents? Are we so arrogant that we don't realize that none of us are innocents and we're all at least a little savage? 

My reading list and my movie choices represent a rather depressing aspect of the past of the human race. It's a small wonder that I haven't driven myself crazy with it. Though I might not have reached a dangerous level of depression or insanity, I have jaded myself by reading about so many accounts of human cruelty and savagery. The things we do to one another... 

I got to thinking about all of this because of the book that I just finished reading, Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins. A great read that I recommend to anyone that is remotely interested in human rights and how capitalism and the greed of the United States is slowly destroying our little world. My boss recommended it to me and loaned me the book, and I really enjoyed reading it. It spoke of how the man, John Perkins, felt that he needed to write the book as a sort of cleansing of all the things that he had done in the past that went against his conscience. Things that he had to justify to himself and others for years that he could no longer bear. He felt that he fucked the world and had to apologize for it and to create awareness about the things that he had done in order to somewhat remedy his actions. Not to completely make up for them, but as a sort of peace offering to the world and those that his actions harmed. He sold his soul years ago for money and power, and he wants it back.

Basically, he would go into developing nations and convince them that they needed to take out massive loans from organizations such as the World Bank that they couldn't possibly repay. He did this through overblown econometric models that promised massive returns on these loans and investments in the country's infrastructure and economy. He was employed by the private sector, that then benefited from these loans because the countries would use the money to hire US companies to build their infrastructure, schools, etc. Naturally, the country would be ultimately unable to repay the loans and would be left indebted to the US and essentially under its power. A sort of economic colonialism if you will. He refers to this as the building of the US's global empire, and after reading the book and  taking into account all that I have learned about US politics and international policy, I am inclined to believe and agree with him. It reads like a conspiracy theory, but it's damn convincing and is based in an awful lot of fact. 

I could write about this for days... but I won't. I'll just say that the more time I spend on this earth, the more I realize what I want to do with my life. At one point I wanted to go to law school and practice corporate law. Now, I realize that there is much more to life than money. Money is corrupting and useless in the grand scheme of things. It provides materialistic comforts that are only vaguely satisfying and I would rather do something with my life that will give it more meaning. I don't want to be famous or go down in history for changing the world, but I do want to leave it with no regrets. I want to live each day as though it were my last. Not by partying and living life at a breakneck speed, but by never holding back. Always going after what it is that I want and never disappointing myself again. 

I need to get my life back on track and figure out how to do the things that I want. I have never let myself down before, and I don't intend to this time. There are certain things in life that I will probably always fear, but I don't want death to be one of them. It is inevitable, so there is no sense in fearing it. I just want to be ready for it when it comes. My last thoughts must not be of all the things that I did not do, or of all the things that I wish I had done, but of the things that I did and the ones that I loved. 

1 comment:

Alicia said...

Your post is really interesting. Sometimes I feel like the hardest thing in life is finding those things which will be most fulfilling. I guess it depends on how challenging are one's aspirations.

With regard to death... I read a really interesting book a few weeks ago called "Many Lives, Many Master" by Dr. Brian Weiss. It talks about the soul and reincarnation. It has really changed my perspective on death. You might be interested...

http://www.brianweiss.com/

Love you. :)