This article belongs to Sweet Grace column.
The other evening Victor charged into his house blowing fire and smoke while his wife stood wondering what could have happened. Meantime, Victor was throwing curses at himself, "How stupid of me … How stupid…"
"Why? What happened?" wifey asked somewhat agitated.
"You see, I should have told my Desk officer, ‘to go to hell by the next train' but instead I had said, ‘I am sorry, sir'. How idiotic of me ….? And for all this, I had committed no mistake of any kind. Nothing very serious, I mean?"
"Oh, your office affair?" wifey remarked dejectedly, went into the kitchen, prepared a hot cup of coffee and brought it to her husband to cool off his temper.
Victor became calm and wise after a couple of hours. He was no exception either. Most of us experience such delayed wisdom in our day to day life of what should have been said or done or not done on some past events.
After a football or hockey match, you could hear the losing team players say, "I shouldn't have kicked the ball so hard" "I should have attempted the goal myself instead of passing it to the left winger." "I should not have spoken so harshly with the referee…"
A horrified mother would castigate her husband saying, "You should have been more strict with your daughter in her teen age days. See, what shame she has brought on the family by marrying that good-for-nothing fellow without our knowledge…"
True wisdom would come forth in all seriousness after an examination. "I ought to have covered more points in my answer .for question 7." "Question No.3 was comparatively easier and I stupidly went for Q No. 5. How foolish of me …? Ttch…ttch… tch.."
The post mortem session after every deal in a bridge game is worth watching. The post round wisdom would come in full bloom then. All the four would be talking at the same time across the table about which card should haven played, which trick should have been given to the opponents and which trick should have been trumped etc etc..
After a holiday trip, the head of the house would regret saying, "We could have spent the last two days in a cheaper hotel and eaten simpler food. What a pity? We could have easily saved then around $ 100."
The list is endless. It is unfortunate that God has given us all a ‘tube light' kind of reaction time and not an electronic variety. And I believe our Creator is not going to change this design specification, for that matter, on the future human beings, the computer age not withstanding. In the circumstances, we need to find some other ways to ‘back trace' our mind and induct remedial measures for our own satisfaction if not for a better result.
One suggestion is to introduce a system of issuing amendments in oral form to our earlier statements such as, for ‘your secretary', read ‘that woman.‘ for 'you are not quite correct, sir' read 'you are an idiot, sir.' Why not? Doesn't the Govt issue amendments to their orders or the Parliament, to various laws enacted by them some five years ago?"
In my personal case, wisdom dawned on me after some 30 years. I shouldn't have contradicted my superior officer saying, "That would be a moronic action, sir" . Instead I should have said, "Won't that be a wrong action, sir?" The result? I had been denied my promotion.
This is nothing compared to the post event wisdom of an young wife some 3 weeks after her marriage. The frustrated woman, in between soft sobs, said, "I should not have married you at all. Several men proposed to me…"
"Oh, I see?" the injured husband barked back "In which case, why the hell didn't you marry the first idiot who proposed to you?"
"I did" said the young thing and raised the volume of her crying.