Posts Tagged ‘regret’
1) “Art without Commerce is a hobby.”
2) Border Collie. The obvious inspiration for the Everready Bunny.
3) Rational Self-Interest. Have you read any Heinlein? If so you know exactly what I mean when I write TANSTAAFL. If we examine much (all?) of what we see or read about and drill down to the bottom, isn’t it fascinating how often we see the underlying self-interest that informed the action?
Much of modern Economics, especially Behavioral Economics of course, is centered on this essential premise, that events and behaviors can be understood or predicted based on the assumption of rational self-interest.
Altruism, behaviors that are truly counter to rational self-interest, if it really exists, is the fly in the ointment. How to explain altruism when so much else, indeed almost ALL else, can be so accurately explained by rational self-interest?
4) Sorry? It’s rather amazing how many apologies to which we’ve been subjected lately, eh? Famous athletes, movie and rock stars, politicians, all proffering “heartfelt” apologies for some indiscretion or another. But are they sorry? Sorry for what they have done? Or is it something more…I dunno…less? Regret, perhaps.
There’s quite a gulf between regret and true remorse. Remorse is a deep emotional response that touches on shame. Regret, not so much. Regret is a more superficial emotion, a sadness or maybe a disappointment, more closely attached to rational self-interest whereas remorse is more akin to altruism. Remorse is more outwardly projected: I’m sorry for the effect on the OTHER. Regret much more inward, more centered on self. Think about the last few very public “apologies” you’ve heard or seen recently. Any true remorse?
How does one apply this difference in every day life, other than as a determinant in how we feel about the news we read? Well, regret lends itself to strategy and tactics, a certain calculus or cost/benefit analysis applied to the road ahead, or applied to the fall-out of the road behind. Rational.
Remorse on the other hand seems to me to be purely reactive. Not amenable to planning because whatever we’ve done to prompt true remorse, to be truly sorry, to feel ashamed, is nothing one would ever make a rational choice to do. We FEEL sorry, we don’t think it. We feel the pain of the other and we feel truly sorry for our part in it.
And there, my Brothers and Sisters, is where the line between regret and remorse lies. That outward extension of ourselves toward the other, so easy (I think) to see it when it’s real and so obvious when it’s not. Just as regret could be seen as a form of rational self-interest (I’m sorry I got caught), we might think of remorse as emotional altruism (I’m sorry I’ve let you down).
To remember our remorse for actions in the past is to remind ourselves of the presence of others as we act now.
I’ll see you next week…