Tuesday, July 20, 2021

A few moments of pleasure, a lifetime of regrets

 A few moments of pleasure, a lifetime of regrets.

Have you ever heard or have seen that line? I don't remember where I have seen it but it stuck to me.  It was my mantra while I was going thru college.

I remember, when I was in college, the bus I was riding on my way to school would pass by this small village filled with squatters with houses of tattered roof, toddlers running about with snotty noses and holes in their almost see-through sandos. Haggard looking mothers screaming at the top of their lungs and cursing left and right for their offsprings to go inside the house, to help. The scattered fresh laundry waving in the air filling the whole street as if posing like fiesta banners. It was a depressing sight and everytime I pass by that small village it makes me scared and paranoid. I don't want to end up in a place like that.

Because you see, I did not come from a well-to-do family. Sure, I graduated from a Catholic school instead of a Public school but that's because my father got lucky to land a job that pays good money for a blue collar job. He was working for a rich pharmaceutical laboratory. Unfortunately, he was laid off by the time I finished highschool because of some company merging that happened. He was offered hefty "buy-off" force retirement money though and we could have had lived very comfortably through out my college years. Unfortunately, my father had been a victim of the Ponzi scheme and he lost half of his money (he was planning to use that money to renovate our house). Thankfully, we survived that predicament, money-wise.

It wasn't just the money that helped me go through college though, it was that mantra. I was so scared that I would fall inlove and lose control, throw caution to the wind and get pregnant and end up in that "village". I was paranoid. It's a good thing though. It kept me in check everytime I meet a guy that I like. I had an "almost boyfriend" a few times but I never really had a real one until I was in my 3rd year college. Yeah, late bloomer. I don't see him too much though (I was a "sideline" I later found out), so I guess that helped too.

Where am I going with this? Recently, a family member is going through some health issues, serious health issues, and it's because of "throwing caution to the wind". A few moments of pleasure, with some bad friends (not all his friends are bad though), and lack of self-control, and voila! he's now in a very bad condition. A condition that can never be reversed. He might not be able to walk anymore in a year or two.

"A few moment's of pleasure a lifetime of regrets"

I am amazed how each one of us are wired differently. Some would say I am paranoid, but I will contest that and say, I'm being cautious, I'm being responsible. I try to make good choices ("try" as the operative word, because let's face it, we all have our weaknesses). Thankfully, I have the foresight to know what the consequences will be if I don't behave. It's not rocket science, really, it's common sense. Sometimes, it's listening advises from older family members. Sometimes, it's observing and learning from other people's mistakes. Unfortunately, some people just don't have that reward-consequence concept wired in their brain. They live in the moment. The only care about the now, the enjoyment of the now and just shrug off any nagging feeling of untoward catastrophe because of that bad decision they are currently acting on.

I call it being stubborn or doing something stupid to spite a family member. Sure, they got what they want. They got their family members annoyed at them and then what? Who is suffering the long term effect? It's not the family members, for sure, it's THEM.

I remember my father's friend. He is an alcoholic. I remember my mom reprimanding my dad for hanging out with this friend because everytime they are together my father will always come home drunk. One day, I was just in elementary that time, that friend of my father had a stroke. You probably know what that means, half your body is dead. That friend of my father has been cursing alcohol since that stroke. He regret how he took his health for granted and because of that he never went back to normal. Every afternoon I would see him walking down the street, with her right arm folded permanently to his chest, with the right hand flopping and lifeless while he takes a step and dragging his right leg while walking. He was trying to exercise by walking, unfortunately it's too late. He cannot walk like normal again.  It was such a pitiful sight. 

"A few moments of pleasure, a lifetime of regrets".

How many times have we seen or watch movies or even know someone who are teenage mothers? Didn't finish high school, at 22 has 6 kids. Living in that "village", with an alcoholic husband. Gone are the days where she thinks her husband was the cutest thing. She's despising now how she let him touch her. "But it was wonderful", she would say. She was never touched like that before. Unfortunately, that touch lead to having twins. She had to drop out of school because she's embarrassed and it just went downhill after that.

"A few moments of pleasure, a lifetime of regrets".

Now that I have kids on my own, I am hoping to instill to them the importance of making good choices. I don't know if having a foresight for consequences and rewards are genetic or instilled but I sure want them to learn the basic thing about cause and effect and the meaning of...

"A few moments of pleasure, a lifetime of regrets".

....and I really hope I would atleast succeed on that regards...