by Peter Hoare
You need failure to truly appreciate success. You need to one day be poor in order to truly appreciate being rich. Much like Superman needs Lex Luther, love needs heartache.
I’ve been traveling a lot lately. And whenever I do, I can’t help but people watch in the airport. On my latest trip, while sitting in the Virgin America terminal at LAX, waiting on a delayed flight to New York’s JFK, I was sitting beside a lesbian couple.
While I was on my laptop, hard at work (reading the results of the previous night’s WWE Pay-per-view), this couple was having a very serious discussion about the possibilities of adopting a child together. During the conversation, one of the women theorized that being a parent was “a fundamental part of the human experience.” She said so in those exact words.
And then the couple got up and left, off to presumably plot how to rope me into an airport three-way. And though I must have boarded my plane before that three-way could come to its glorious fruition, those ladies did leave me with a lot to think about.
Is being a parent a fundamental human experience?
If so, let’s break down what a fundamental human experience is. Since I’m clearly an emotionally stunted man-child, allow me to put it in terms of an amusement park: If life is a theme park, and in all too many ways it is, not partaking in a fundamental human experience would be like leaving a theme park — one that you had only one chance to visit — without riding all the rides.
Is not being a parent to at least one child like leaving Six Flags without riding so much as one roller coaster? Because if you went to Six Flags with me, and here’s to hoping you all will at some point, I’d berate you for leaving without riding Nitro or Kingda Ka. You’d be an idiot.
See, this comment stuck with me, because I don’t know if I want children. I’ve said that for years. I just don’t know. I do know I’d like a dog at some point. A girlfriend would be rad. I’m positive that I want to install a Jacuzzi at the next place I live. I’m absolutely certain that I’d like a urinal in my home bathroom. But a child? The jury is still out.
But now, these gals got me thinking. Because when all is said and done, when I find myself on the wrong side of the grass, I don’t want to have any massive regrets. And not partaking in a fundamental human experience — that’d probably be something I live to regret.
What are the other fundamental human experiences? I thought about it on my flight home and came up with a few:
Just because you were born somewhere doesn’t mean you need to die there. Adventure, damn it! If you live your entire life without exploring the infinite abyss that is not only this country, but also all the others, you’re missing out on an experience that you’ll surely live to regret.
Love and heartbreak
To love and be loved, but to also be crushed at some point as well. Make no mistake about it, without experiencing the latter, the former isn’t as fulfilling. You need failure to truly appreciate success. You need to one day be poor in order to truly appreciate being rich. Much like Superman needs Lex Luther, love needs heartache.
Everyone deserves to be truly proud of themselves at some point in life. I mean a deep, lasting inner pride, in which you can look at yourself, or at something you’ve done, and know, in that one instance at least, that you won. Everyone deserves to get that win, be it in a sport, a creative endeavor or anything else. And if you’ve yet to get there, don’t stop.
All I know is that when I’m old and gray, I want to look back and know I did it right. Regretting something is a truly helpless feeling. Because at that point, what’s done is done. Because Doc Brown isn’t real and DeLoreans, regardless of how fast they’re going, don’t take you back in time.
I don’t know about you, but while I’m here, I want to ride all the rides.
Read this article in AskMen
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija