Yeayi Kobina Writes: Answering life’s ‘What If’ questions

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Yesterday, I chanced on a post about the passing of a stranger. A friend mourning the death of someone she had shared precious moments with. I didn’t know this late soul and yet I found myself staring at the post for over a minute, wondering how those left behind had to deal with picking up the pieces.

Death has a way of reminding you how fleeting time is. How life can be snuffed out so quickly the shock doesn’t dissolve until months later. We always think we have all the time when in actuality our expiration date is a limited shelf life.

If you’re lucky you may get to make it to a ripe old age, be surrounded by love on a hospital bed and actually get to say goodbye to your loved ones but the only guarantee we ever have in life is that death eventually comes to us all, whether we are ready or not. This stranger had dreams, goals and aspirations they wanted to achieve, the grandparent that was buried this weekend had certain regrets still hanging over their heads as they passed.

My friend Rhesa says something almost every time we talk about goals and ambitions: you must try to do all you can, while you can.

A palliative nurse once recorded the dying regrets of her patients in the book the top five regrets of the dying and the most common regret of all – the courage to live the life that was true to them, not one chosen for them by others. The phenomenal clarity that comes with the dying is looking back and realising how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Due to choices and fear of taking risks, some dream are boxed up.

It’s like my favourite line from the poem the road not taken by Robert Frost, “I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood and I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.” We make decisions daily, deciding from several choices which one best suites our needs and desires of the moment. It is often impossible to see where a decision will lead. We are often left to wonder what the outcome would have been had we opted for a different choice.

My goal in life has mostly being about making it to the end of the road with as few regrets as possible. The choice has always been to answer as many ‘what if’ questions before my time on earth is done. So I make choices with confident is stick to them knowing fully well that each choice counts towards where I will find myself when it’s all said and done.

What’s your greatest regret so far and what will you set out to achieve before you die?

By Yeayi Kobina

The writer has played multiple roles in broadcast journalism, news anchoring, branding and programming communications, scriptwriting, and content producing. He has worked as the lead producer of TV3’s flagship morning show, ‘Newday’.

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