Regret: The Good School Marm

     In Streeter Middle School where I was forced to go as a child (after all nobody chooses to go to Middle School) there was a teacher nobody wanted to have. We called her “Big Bad Bood”. Her real name was Mrs. Boudreau and she owned the reputation of being four and a half feet of pure mean. She taught algebra.

     I began having nightmares about her at the end of seventh grade which continued all through the summer right up until the time I started eighth grade in September. I dreamed about being hit with rulers because I couldn’t balance equations. I dreamed about being forced to inhale nose spray because I didn’t know the difference between positive and negative integers (I know weird :roll:).

    Anyway September came and I met “Big Bad Bood”. She passed out our algebra books and warned us that we would have them covered by next class or face detention. She gave us homework that day and told us how to do it. She taught with no-nonsense and gave us clear direction about what she expected. She answered questions directly and told us “The only stupid question is the one you never ask”.  I learned by the end of day one I had been frightened all summer of someone I actually liked! She was tough. She was a disciplinarian. But if you were willing to work you had nothing to fear.

      I am finding as I enter mid-life that regret is a lot like Mrs. Boudreau. As a young man I never wanted to have regret  just like I never wanted to have algebra. But I have found that regret is a part of life just like algebra is a part of eighth grade. You can’t get through life without it; That’s just part of being an imperfect human being.

    Regret is tough. Regret is a disciplinarian. Regret is a good school marm. It exists to teach us something. If we are willing to learn regret can become a friend rather than a foe. It’s when we sit and do nothing but curse our regret that she turns into four and a half feet of pure mean.

     Listen, we’ve all got regret. It’s how much you resist her teachings that determines how much pain she is going to cause!

What is your regret trying to teach you?


The Teachers of Life

     I got my upbringing in the school of life. If life is a school, as they say, then everyone the good Lord brings me across is a teacher of sorts.

     A few people are so good, I have learned only what to do from them. A few people are so wicked, I have learned only what not to do from them. Most people are an ordinary mix of both good and bad. From them I have learned the most. In their triumphs I have learned what is right to do. In their failures I have learned what is wrong. For instance:

    From my dad I learned the value of an HONEST day’s labor. That means a day of hard work in case you were wondering.

   From my mom I learned the value of knowing when to wait. Good things come to those… as they say.

    From my wife I learned that a job needs to be completed even if it is hard and it needs to be completed right.

     From my father-in-law I learned that a thing that doesn’t work is a thing to be conquered by a person who does. Sweat and persistence overcome problems everytime.

      What we get from our teachers depends on us. The lessons I have learned from my loved ones have come as much from their failures as from their successes. There are positive lessons to be learned from every situation and interaction. The trick is finding the blessing… the lesson that will advance us in each life circumstance.

Who are your teachers in life? What lesson have they taught you?