The Uses of Regret

Posted March 25, 2018 5:46 pm by James H. Toner

The Uses of Regret

Visiting the dentist is rarely an exercise in metaphysical imagination. My dentist, though, has painted the ceilings of his offices with various aphorisms, no doubt to distract us poor (and reclining) patients from the rigors of oral onslaughts.
Among the various slogans I read while trying stoically to put up with the scraping, drilling, and “irrigation” (they actually use that noun) incidental to my visit, there was this: “Live life without regret.”
I think, though, that seeking to live life without regret is both impossible and undesirable.
Although St. Paul teaches us that we are wise in “forgetting what lies behind and straining

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