Know better, do better

I've been struggling a little bit recently with the concept of regret. So often you hear people say they don't believe in regrets. One of my favourite Beth Orton songs has a line "What's the use in regret? They're just things we haven't learned yet". But there are some things that I regret. Personal things. Mostly about how I behaved in a situation, or interpreted something and missed an opportunity for a better connection.

Yesterday I was listening to Rising Strong audiobook by Brene Brown and she shared a quote from Maya Angelou "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better". She also challenges you to start considering others through the assumption that people are doing the best they can with the tools they have. This resonated with me. Particularly regarding my reflections and the guilt that I was feeling, shame, I don't know what, about my contributions to what was a pretty toxic work environment that I was in some time ago. And how hard I'd judged one particular individual who was always putting himself out there and who I'd considered very touchy feely. For a number of years I considered him to be my nemesis, in that he was so obviously the polar opposite of me that it was hard for us to collaborate effectively.

I went and had a great meeting with my supervisor and was on my way back to the car, inspired by the thought provoking conversation and keen to get back to work when I heard someone call my name. It was the man I'd been thinking about. I hadn't seen him for over 5 years. 5 years ago I probably would've tried to get away with him thinking that I hadn't heard him, or shut him down as quickly as possible. Yesterday I took the time to talk to him. I knew better and I did better.

Still not sure about the regret thing, but I'm not hung up about it so I figure that's ok.


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