...then to regret something you haven't. Then you don't spend so much time wishing that you could have enjoyed doing something when you were younger, or had the money, or for whatever reason is stopping you from doing it now.

"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable."
-Sydney J. Harris

Too bad I didn't learn that years ago. So much truth is in those words.... *sigh*.

A quote from the intro a song called "Sweat Loaf". It's by Butthole Surfers. This is sometimes quoted as an Orbital lyric, from their track Satan. Much as I like Orbital, this is not theirs as such. They sampled it from Sweat Loaf, which is itself a version of Sweet Leaf by Black Sabbath.

The original goes like this (in a cheezy American accent with quiet strings in the background):

- Yes son?
What does regret mean?
- Well son, a funny thing about regret is that it's better to regret something you have done than something you haven't done. And by the way if you see your mom this weekend, be sure and tell her SATAN SATAN SATAN!
--also described as errors of commission are easier to remedy than errors of omission. When we do, or say something we regret, often we can apologize, or try again, in a different way.

With things left undone we are left with only the mistake and the missed opportunity, frequently there is no way to go back and try again.

Many adults (older than the age of 20) speak about regret much more than "youthful mistakes." This is why most older people encourage youth to gather ye rosebuds while ye may.

old Irish saying:

"I have done the things I should not have done,
I have left undone the things I should have done,
and there is no good in me."

The Irish saying that deep_thought quotes above is actually from the Book of Common Prayer. It is a part of the General Confession, normally said during Morning and Evening Prayer, among other times. From the 1928 BCP;

We have left undone those things which we ought to have done;
And we have done those things which we ought not to have done;
And there is no health in us.

Also very similar to the old adage, "It's easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission."

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