Friday, November 13, 2015

Blame It On The Bossa Nova

Blame It On The Bossa Nova

"Not my fault, not my fault ... don't blame me ..."

Familiar words?

I think one of the hardest things to do in life is to accept blame for your misdoings. No one wants to stew in a sea of guilt over some mistake. It's just not healthy. So, we tend to shake it off. Maybe we accept the guilt for a few moments, but then we usually tuck it away in the deep recesses of our subconscious forever thereafter.

The worst mistakes we make are those that affect other people. Say, you mess around with your best friend's spouse for a night of debauched delight in the Downtown Dollar Motel. Not only do you feel guilty the next morning — while you're trying to creep into your clothes and make it to the nearest McDonald's for a coffee and an Egg McMuffin before your partner in entwined crime even wakes up — but you have to face the source of your guilt day after day from that time forward. You could end the friendship, I suppose, but that would lead to more guilt and certainly some self-loathing. Instead, you usually carry on the friendship, which morphs into a kind of charade. All around, it sucks, if you get my drift.

The point is you never want to see your guilt as something or someone "out there," something or someone that becomes a constant reminder of your boner, or should I say, mistake.

No, we like our guilt hidden, not just from the rest of the world, but more importantly from ourselves.

And why not?

We all make mistakes. We all goof up once in a while. Most of these mistakes are relatively inconsequential. I mean, it's not like that night of debauched delight in the Downtown Dollar Motel is going to lead to something serious, like an unwanted pregnancy. Should that happen, well, then we're into a whole new dimension of hurt. The result of our erogenous ways suddenly becomes HUGE. There's no escaping what comes next, whatever that next might be.

Usually, however, we can just skip by the blame. We are quite adept at finding excuses for and ignoring the consequences of all of our not-so-great actions.

Therein lies the problem. Too often, we don't think ahead. We fail to realise that every action has a consequence, and we neglect to measure the effect of the action before we commit ourselves to it.

Hindsight may be 20/20, but foresight is as blind as a bat. People run around saying, "I live in the moment." All well and good, but what about at least taking a glimpse at what the next moment might be. No one can predict exactly what is waiting around the corner of Self-Gratification Street and Karma Court, but a little forethought goes a long way.

I am not one of those learned philosophers who believes that "we learn best from our mistakes." I believe we learn best from seeing a mistake-in-the-making and avoiding making it. That way of thinking keeps the guilt at bay. Instead of living in a self-imposed purgatory, you get to do the bossa nova without any lingering regrets.



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