Monday, December 2, 2013

It's never too late......

I came across this quotation in a book I was reading.  “It’s never too late to be what you ought to have been.”  It was attributed to the writer, George Eliot. 

I like this very much, and it chimes with some of the thoughts I have been having.  We should all live our lives with the thought that today may be our last day, and, if it is, have we been, as George Eliot says, “what we ought to have been”?  So I am asking myself this question now. 

When you have been ill, as I have been (though now thankfully well on the way to full recovery), it makes you re-assess the whole of your life.  For example, the two cancelled trips to China forced me to look again at how I was going to implement my teaching programme there, and how often I would be travelling over there in the future.  And the success of Mei and Guy’s visit without me to shepherd them around has made me realise yet again the truth of the saying that none of us is indispensable.

One thing I must do is learn to leave behind those many regrets we all have for the things not done or done imperfectly (our Metal regrets).  I cannot now undo what I have done imperfectly, but I can undo how I view what I have done.  And I think this is the secret of “being who we ought to have been”. One of the greatest lessons our life must teach us is that we must learn to accept that at any point in that life we could only do what we could cope with doing.  It’s all too easy for other people, looking at us from the outside, to think we could or should have done things differently.  We could not, because at that time that is all we could do.  To accept our imperfections in this way is a necessary lesson to learn, and, once learnt, will surely help us a little further on the way to being “what we ought to have been”.

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