Playing for the Almighty Dollar
Finish Him!

Regrets of the Flickering

Inspiration and Chai:

My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

That must focus the mind.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again.

Here's one that all men shared:

I wish I didn't work so hard.

One should work to live not live to work.

Many people have the habit of acquiring too many things -- thanks to the power of debt -- and then working long hours to pay off the interest-laden bills. It seems so ... unnecessary. They often think that the abundance of physical objects in their possession will provide them happiness which as they soon realize is another one of their regrets.

Too many lack perspective.

In the early 90s, in Pakistan, I had a cap gun -- a gorgeous silver-metallic 12 shooter. I would save up my allowance in Saudi Arabia and spend it on cheap ring caps in Pakistan. The beautiful noise would drive my mother mad. So, one day she took the gun and hid it.

We were planning to visit some relatives on that day. My uncle was driving my mom and myself. While we're in the car, I'm whining and complaining.

"I want my gun!"

"Where did you put it!?"


"I want it!"

Well, actually I was speaking in Urdu but you get the idea.

Suddenly, this noxious smell came out of nowhere. I instinctively started to roll up the windows of the car. Then I realized, we were driving through a garbage dump. It seemed that for over a kilometer, on both sides of the road, bags of garbage had been piled up into sizable hills. The smell was so overpowering and atrocious.

I noticed something that was shocking. People were walking around and searching through the waste. I asked my uncle, "What are they doing?"

"They're looking for food or something to use or sell for money."

I looked at that somber scene in silence from behind the window of an air conditioned car.

I stopped complaining.

Link via Instapundit.

Wow. This is now my second Instalanche of the month!

Thanks again, Professor.


Tex the Pontificator

I have a childhood memory that, while not as extreme, has nevertheless stuck with me. I grew up in a middle class home in South Texas. A great uncle farmed citrus and cotton in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. One day he took my two younger siblings and me out to a cotton field to pick a few bolls of cotton.

For us it was a lark, but he was really going to check on the progress of the harvest. I remember piling out of his air conditioned car and seeing men, women, and children picking cotton for real in the Texas sun. I don't know how old I was, but I was old enough to be embarrassed about how good I had it and how I had wanted to play at picking cotton.


Yes, but in Lagos, Nigeria the BBC tells us in a very cheery and upbeat voice, that the exact same situation is all part of the ultra-successful adaptation to extreme urban future - where nothing is wasted and everything is an opportunity - a model for us all - just "suffering through a few .. growing pains".


Concur completely. I was in Silicon Valley, holding out for a big opportunity within my company, when my mother got cancer. Shortly after her surgery, I packed up and went home to the Midwest.

Three weeks later, during follow-up chemo, Mom went into anaphalactic shock from the treatment. As I watched the oncology staff race to save her, I knew I had made the right choice.

Mom is doing fine today, and I treasure the time I spend with her and Dad.

No regrets here. I am blessed to have the opportunity to make this wise choice, rather than have my folly surprise me when it's too late to do anything about it.



You know how lucky you are.

I'm in mid 60s. I got so busy being successful that I missed the last chance to tell a friend who died of liver cancer how much he meant to me, to love my Dad's only sister I never knew, to hug and old friend who died alone, and to make amends with a long, lost love who suffered a horrible cancer.

You made the best choice! God love you.

Classical Liberal

I remember once many years ago I was having what I considered to be a bad day and was in a lousy mood as I walked into a Fred Meyer store (a discount department and grocery store, kind of like a Target). Coming out was a man using crutches, with one of his legs off at the knee. Suddenly my supposed troubles seemed quite trivial.

On a completely different topic: Isaac, is this "Bollywood"? Do you speak that language, and if so, what are they saying?

[Technically, no it's not Bollywood. If it were, I would be able to understand what they're saying.

Well, I understood the first few words: maar saale ko. It means kill him.

Bollywood is the Bombay-based Hindi-language movie industry. The people in that clip are definitely not speaking Hindi. By checking the You Tube page of the clip, one finds out that they're speaking Telugu -- third most-spoken language in India.

-- Isaac S.]


I am a young guy (only 23) and I did well in college and got into Teach for America (which, for 2009, only about 12% of applicants were accepted). I was all set to move down to Mississippi. However, I quit five days into training-- I just felt like I had to go home. Because of my TFA acceptance, I had stopped the job search for awhile and when I came back home I was unemployed. During my "funemployment" I would spend a lot of mornings talking to my dad (who was fortunate enough to work at home when he was able). Little did I know that in December of 2009 he would get very sick and, after 7 weeks in the hospital, pass away. Being young and having no wisdom, I am happy now that I spent all the time I did with him when I might have been in Mississippi or even just working a 9-5 job. I am grateful that on one of the first nights I spent with him in the hospital, when he was in what might be called a living hell, I told him that I loved him and he, without hesitation, told me the same. A moment like that continues to make everything worthwhile.


"Coming out was a man using crutches, with one of his legs off at the knee."

I was sad because I had no shoes, until I saw a man with no feet. So I took his shoes... I mean, he really didn't need them, did he?

(sorry to break the tone of a very serious thread, but I always liked that joke)

Oran Woody

Thank you for this bit. I immediately "cut and pasted" it into a message to my friends and associates.
I followed an Instapundit link, but I've bookmarked your site and will be back.
Thank again,

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