Once upon a time (as all good stories start), there was a man who had three choices. One choice would leave him vulnerable, scared, and being young, he could not look past tomorrow to see that these things would pass. His second choice would have caused difficulty in the short term and quite a lot of heartbreak that he might not have dealt with too readily. His third choice, the easiest of the three, would push everything under the carpet and his ‘problem’ would be banished from his mind but its long term ramifications were an unknown and uncared about afterthought.
All three choices were difficult for the man but he chose the third, for being young, long-term ramifications were laughable at best and not worth worrying about because tomorrow seemed a long time away at worst. In choosing the third he bypassed the short term pain because he was both immature, selfish and again it’s worth mentioning, he was young.
The worst thing about this man is that it took decades for him to realise that his choice might have been the wrong one. Wrong being a very subjective word here for you see, at the time of his choosing he believed he was making the right choice. Yet many years later his idea of what is right and wrong had drastically changed. He had spent those many years after his choice, believing or even trying to convince himself that he had made the right choice.
There is no moral to this short story, if indeed you might even deem it good enough to be story-worthy. That’s not important. What is important is the subjective nature of right and wrong. Philosophers down through the centuries have pondered on such things and have never come up with a table of events that can be classed as right and wrong. There are many shades of grey in every decision we make in our lives. Some will have more far reaching consequences than others yet in the end, we all make our choices.
I suppose the man, although unaware of the future outcome of his choices, can find some comfort in the fact that he made his decision, deluded or not, in the belief that at the time he was making the right choice.
I bet that even though he often states he has no regrets in life, he might change his mind and if time travel were a possibility, he would go back and do it all differently. Or maybe not, for the man he is now is as a result of the choices he made in the past. Who’s to say how things would be different? Not I. For I know as little about the majesty of cause and effect as the next man. But I do know one thing: I would not put anyone else in that mans shoes, in that moment in time, no matter how much my hatred of him might be.