Learning from Mistakes

A wise person learns from other people's mistakes.

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Comments (99)

(98) Anonymous, July 11, 2011 9:33 PM



(97) eva, May 16, 2011 3:20 AM

If I had it to do over, I would enjoy my eight children more. I was often too uptight and stressed out to just enjoy them. My advice to you would be: enjoy them, they WILL grow up.

(96) tammy, May 16, 2011 1:42 AM

my regret

not studying the Bible earlier in my life. Now I want to learn more and more of God's word.

(95) L.S., February 6, 2011 7:58 PM


I regret going to the prestigious liberal arts college intead of the big less prestigious one I also got into. When visiting both, I felt very happy at the big less prestige school and loved the campus and the professors, but chose the prestigious liberal arts college because of the prestige. It was a horrible choice which led to a downfall of other horrible choices; I was miserably depressed for four years, and the depression, stress, and high anxiety wrecked havoc on my weight, my skin, my psyche, my soul. I worshipped the false idol of prestige and status and became miserable in the process. Additionally, the degree I got is very liberal-artsy and made me unemployable and the workload was so overwhelming that i had to work long hours just to keep my grades out of the tiolet, and it was harder to get into grad school even though B'H" I have since completed a Master's degree. I regret that I didn't get my career goals more organized at an earlier age because I am kind of lost and need to make a decision soon.

(94) SusanE, October 31, 2010 10:59 PM

Regrets and Mistakes.

One big mistake that I made and hope I have corrected is accepting criticism graciously. I might not have made as many mistakes if I had listened more. There are some things that I could have made easier for my family. There were things I should have made a faster or more firm decision about. I would have spent more time socializing with my parents. When I was younger, I could have helped my neighbor financially and I didn't. I wish I had not defined myself by my marriage. I would have studied Judaism sooner. I regret that I didn't realize the potential I had until later in life. I sincerely regret that I didn't speak up when someone asked for advice. I didn't think my opinions were worthy of consideration. Most of the things that I have found regrettable, I have taken care of in the past several years. The above few mistakes can't be changed. But, I have learned from them and hope that others can learn from my errors. Lori, this is a rewrite of my comment from July 2007.

(93) Anonymous, February 7, 2009 9:56 PM

Have to agree with the first comment!!

(92) Anonymous, October 16, 2008 9:00 PM

i regret leshon hara!!!!!

(91) andrew, October 4, 2008 7:20 PM

learning from mistakes

lori i have a very bad mistake which will follow me as long as i live it is about being with a woman that i did not love but everytime that i would tell her that it is over she would cry just like a baby n i would soften my heart n would tell her well let us continue together again up untill one day she made the anounce to me that she is pregnant well it is a fact that i will have to carry this all my fe the lesson is sometimes you may take a decision that may hurt other but you still have to do it it is for your own good thank you very much lori.

(90) Anonymous, September 14, 2008 10:42 AM

wasted resentment time

My mother recently passed away. She had many wonderful talents and a great ability to give -- but not to me. In her eyes i was never good enough. The resentments I felt over the years included the resentment of the her perfection that the rest of the world perceived. By choosing to focus on my resentments, I failed to focus on my own abilities and positive qualities. I also overlooked the quiet signs of love from her. Resenting her took the time and energy away from accepting myself and her. Resenting my own emotional problems also interferred with my own growth. What a waste of time and energy.

(89) Anonymous, August 10, 2008 1:20 AM

Advice on Dating....

Never sleep with the man YOU like and hope to be with, he should be the one that you make wait...if until marriage is possible then great, but if not then at least until you feel secure in your relationship. It's very hard learning this..and i feel i've learned it the hardest way possible.

(88) Anonymous, August 4, 2008 6:43 PM

Children should be given time to play

I spent so much time teaching my children academics, that I took time away from them to just play. Children need the time to play too.

(87) Anonymous, August 3, 2008 7:19 PM

not learning from mistakes

I am sorry I didnt take better care of my childrens emotional needs. Now that I am 50 years old I realize that by wallowing in depression over a lousy,emotionally abusive marriage I was not an emotionally supportive mother. My husband has committed emotional,physical and financial infidelity and when I had suspicions I didnt give him an ultimatum. My children all think Im a shrew but they dont know the reason. They think their father is real chilled and that I have alot of hangups. But he's still here and I am still hiputting up with all his abuse.

(86) Anonymous, July 27, 2008 2:12 AM

im sorry for mrs 'regrets'

i just wanted to tell mrs regrets that feel really bad for her that this is how her life turned out for her.
i hope you divorce him and try to start a new life. no woman in the world should be treated the way you described.
you deserve better and you need to leave this man and never see him again.
my regret is that when i started college, i did not ask other students how to plan out the courses that i should take and therefore had to stay in college an extra year. if you are going into college talk to many students and ask them which courses to take first and which later. you need to learn how college works so you dont stay for longer than you need to.

(85) Anonymous, July 22, 2008 12:29 AM


One mistake I made was marrying my husband without getting to know his family better. I would have seen the big issues that play into our married life. Baruch Hashem, we are going to counseling and it is a tremeandous help.

(84) Anonymous, July 21, 2008 7:05 AM

Be kind to your children

My first three children were very close in age. Maybe that's a bit of a rationalization for the way I treated my children, especially the first two who were of the same gender.

I was always thinking about ancillary concerns like keeping the house clean or having supper ready at six o'clock.

Although I talked to my children, played with them and read them books, I did not do it with enough pleasure or a feeling of leisure. Your children should feel that they are the most important thing in your life.

I don't advocate messy homes or irregular schedules, but we must take time to relax with and enjoy being with our children.

Believe me, it's easier being a grandmother

(83) Anonymous, July 19, 2008 7:26 PM


I regret marrying my husband bec there were red flags before the wedding i did not pay attention to. Like his speaking in first person singular, never in "we". I never felt he was my friend and bec i had no family or any kind of emotional support and i wnted a family, closed my eyes. then when we had our first daughter it bacame a modus operandi to side w her against me. I felt very lonely and terribly attacked all the time. then a friend told me that what was going on in my house had a name,"emotional incest". This made me realize that i was in a sick environment and that explained why i was sick and always needed surgery. my body took on my soul pain.
This sick relationship between my husband and my daughter has pitted her against me and i feel i lost my daughter. I miss her but she sees me as undesirable. I made the mistake to show my frustration and anger at the situation,bec it made me look like an ogre, my husband always gave her everything and underminded me. So now whe is married and i am missing out on the children bec she does not want me in her life. i regret i stayed w this man bec, i know he never loved me and never was tender and kind. treated me with rudeness and bad words and is unprdictably moody. I also know he has been unfaithful to me bec i found condoms in his briefcase. and he said he found them in the street. I don't know if he sleeps w men or women. he is a very mysterious man, he withholds a lot of information and handles all the money. I don't need to go to hell as i am already in it.

(82) Anonymous, July 19, 2008 1:53 PM


I lied to a girl I really cared about to make her like me more, and it all blew up in my face. Now she won't talk to me and I feel terrible. If I could do it over, I would have confidence in who I am and respect people enough not to lie to them.

(81) gilly, July 19, 2008 6:31 AM

I regret marrying a man who had no faith in Hashem. I thought he believed but turned out he was an atheist. The marriage ended after 24 years and 2 sons but the damage caused has lasted much longer. I regret marrying him and though I am so grateful for my sons, wish I had found someone who loved G_d. Next time........

(80) Donna, July 18, 2008 5:50 AM


Biggest mistake was 27yrs of a bad marriage. Physcially and mentally abused......I was always trying to improve /FIX everything. MAKE everyone HAPPY BUT ME. I know now why G-d did not Bless me with children. After my late husband passed away/yes I stuck it out. I realized how my YOUTH had passed me by. I was angry at first. Then a good friend told me it was my destiny. It made me the person I was now. Sometimes you need to be selfish and think of YOURSELF.
I always put my FAITH in G-d. That is what brought me through everything . I feel G-d has given me a second chance in life. I am not blowing it this time. I am going to visit Israel for the New Year Holiday. One of my dreams since my childhood.

(79) Anonymous, July 17, 2008 11:53 PM

not being there for my children

I regret marrying my husband of 28 years. Although there were warning signs I went ahead and married him anyway because I was already 27 years old. He got married just for the physical aspect of marriage and was never there for me emotionally. He ran his whole life (financially and socially) as if he was single. He made all decisions about our money without consulting me and as a result we now have NOTHING. I am very straight and honest and expected the same from him. He made stupid investments and lost everything. Ten years ago I realized how bad things were between us but we have five children and I didnt feel confident enough to leave him. Over the past ten years I have had a lot of reasons to suspect him of infidelity. I have been depressed for quite some time and have neglected my childrens emotional needs..I felt too damaged to handle them. I regret that I am so insecure and weak that I cannot kick him out of the house. But most of all I regret the damage our lack of shalom bayis has done to our children. They have no idea what it is to grow up in a warm and loving environment.

(78) anonymous, July 17, 2008 11:08 PM

I regret marrying a man that my parents
disapproved of. I even ignored warning
signs that manifested before our marriage.

(77) Anonymous, July 17, 2008 8:55 PM

I regret thinking that I could handle things on my own and keep my thoughts inside instead of sharing them with others. Letting sad, scared, frustrated etc. emotions build up can lead to a full-blown explosion of those emotions one day. Baruch Hashem I did share my feelings with others before it was too late, but it probably would have made a whole lot of things simpler had I done so earlier.

(76) kayla, July 17, 2008 8:38 PM

wasting time and being lazy

i never do things (like school work, exercise,learning more about the meaning of life etc.) when i have to because i am lazy and i suffer from it. i may regrett it but im still lazy

(75) Irene, July 17, 2008 6:42 PM

When I had the chance to either choose my ex husband or the dog I should have chosen the dog. The dog was nicer.

(74) Anonymous, July 17, 2008 2:38 PM


I made mistakes, some serious, in raising my children. I regret being overly judgemental. Unfortunately, it is now too late to correct the effects of my error. All I can do is apologize.

...al cheit.........

(73) Anonymous, July 17, 2008 2:17 PM

Think! Think! Think! Before you speak

Mislei/Proverbs state that it's better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and be proven one. You cannot take words back with an apology. It's better to be slow to speak and quick to hear. Shalom to all.

(72) Anonymous, July 17, 2008 1:59 PM

My Mistakes

Hi Lori,
Love you almost live videos. If I could do things over with my son if would be to watch the company I keep in his presence. I would also speak to him more about religious things but not beat him down with them, but try to encourage him. Thanks for the opportunity to share.

(71) Anonymous, July 17, 2008 12:49 PM

Realized too late that the goal of life is to live in such a way to not have regrets at the end of it!

Biggest regret: marrying someone I was "in love" with despite many warning bells that I "conveniently" overlooked (his serious issues with an emotionally remote father, a well-meaning but controlling, critical mother, his getting drunk on Shabbos with our host, his religious doubts, his calling me too often at work or late at night for hours at a time, his dirty/messy apartment, his overall aloofness and lack of kindness/compassion to others, etc. etc.). How could I have allowed this? He "changed" into his real self as soon as Shevah Brachos were over! How did I endure 18 miserable yrs. of marriage w/ this person? Now we're divorced, have 4 kids without a proper family, no one's happy. What a waste!!! Can't get back 18 years! (But the kids are not a mistake!)

2nd biggest regret: not enjoying my children when they were young, not inculcating them with the proper middos (a lot of this due to general misery at home). It is SO TRUE: the secret of a happy home and successful kids, as R' Twersky has mentioned, among others, is a strong and beautiful marriage. No doubt about it. It is not possible to build a strong structure on mud and quicksand, which is what I was trying to do, despite the countless shiurim, parenting classes, and tapes I listened to. There was no foundation! Now, my kids are all challenged, and at least two are completely off-the-derech, with one wavering precariously. If I could have just one person learn from my mistakes, it would be of some comfort. Don't marry with your eyes closed. There is too much at stake! Hatzlachah.

Thanx Lori for this forum. So needed.

(70) Hal, July 17, 2008 11:27 AM

Remaining dependent on parents too long

I remained in my parents' home until I was 27. It was comfortable (and cheap!) and I feel that I had a somewhat retarded social development because of that. i could "blame" my mother, but I had a choice and didn't make the right one. The second consequence was being too materialistic when i should have been saving my money for more important things. Oh well!

(69) anonymous, July 17, 2008 10:00 AM

Hasty decision making

i am not jewish, but i have a close friend who is israeli and i was helping him emotionally recover from something. i wish i had waited to get as much information as i could first before having said things to him, because i said the wrong things and i realize that had i waited i really could have helped him a lot.

(68) Anonymous, July 17, 2008 8:16 AM

What I can't fix

I regret most the hurtful things said to someone who later was not there to hear an apology. You never know when it will be too late to make things right.

(67) steven, July 17, 2008 8:09 AM

is it a mistake to mention your sister's mistakes on the net?

Aren't you embarrassing your sister or speaking loshen hora about her on the net?

Anonymous, July 24, 2014 4:52 PM

No, absolutely not

She didn't specify what her sister did. Almost every baal(as) t'shuva makes some mistakes in relating to their family -- that's what happens when you change a dynamic -- you have to figure out how to re-relate to each other, and mistakes are part of the learning process.

(66) Anonymous, July 17, 2008 7:12 AM

My regret, is that I was judgemental & quick to react with harsh words or actions towards my friends & family. Mistakes happen, it's life.
Listening & just being present with people and approaching them from a place of love has made all the difference in my relationships today. It feels good to treat others like I would like to be treated.

(65) Anonymous, July 17, 2008 1:19 AM

mother in law regrets

I should not have wasted over 30 years on anger and resentment towards my mother in law. It was wasted energy which could have been put to better use.Each time she made a nasty comment I could have said a Paragraph of tehillim. We both would have benefitted from that.I should have realized that Hashem gave me the mother in law who would help me grow as a person and would then casue me to work on my middos. Also so that I will know just what not to do when I would become a mother in law.

(64) Anonymous, July 16, 2008 7:03 PM

Mistakes, Oy!

I married someone I shouldn't have. I did not listen to my brain, but my heart. I did not pay enough attention to how her family behaved or mis-behaved. I listened to her sad story and felt sorry for her. This is how she operates, she feeds on others sympathy. In the end...she plotted against me by accusing me of abuse. I found out to late that she had been doing this our whole married life, 14yrs.
Now just 2yrs later, I have all of our children. 4 wonderful ones. 3 girls and 1 son, three of which are teens. They know the truth, but it is still hard to deal with. There is mistrust, caused by all of the lies she has told and done. I have found that our faith in G-d has grown stronger, although the pain is still there and surfaces every now and then.
The big regret is not realizing that I was the one who was abused by her controlling me and then using my belief in marriage is a life long covenant too continue that abuse. I thank G-d for His freedom and His love. I give Him all praise for my family. May Adonai bless and keep us safe within His powerful arms.

Thank You Lori. You have been a light to my family. We watch you together and this has been a blessing. :-)

(63) a mom, July 16, 2008 5:40 PM

dyslexic son

I thought my young son wasn't "trying" and reprimanded him [even slapped him once 8(]

If I could do it over, I would have pursued help and alternate ways of teaching him.

My words have mostly been ok, but I wish I had been kinder to my young adhd son--getting us both the help we needed sooner.

(62) Anonymous, July 16, 2008 5:23 PM


Marrying a non-jew

(61) SusanE, July 16, 2008 3:52 PM

Nearly 50 Responses Lori - Popular Topic

People, me included, post when the topic is relevent. Most of us have had a regret or two. Most of those regrets can be amended into positives right now.
Get over assigning blame, your feelings of guilt and take responsibility for your choices. Do what you need to do to amend your imagined shortcomings.
We all hope that we have learned better from our mistakes or poor judgement or lack of knowledge.
I am still working on everything.

(60) Todd, July 16, 2008 3:29 PM

Lashon Hara

I should have never tolerated negative speech about others. I should have not allowed it to continue, but set clear boundaries.

(59) Anonymous, July 16, 2008 2:55 PM


I regret marrying a man with a child...(who now lives with us). We have had very different approaches on how to deal with her and it has practically ruined our marriage.

(58) Rachel, July 16, 2008 11:34 AM

loosing myself

Throughout my life I have not trusted myself. I have lost myself and caused grief that was unnecessary. If I had the strength to feel the pain and not be afraid of, not be compelled to react, I would have kept a better hold of my foundations. I am rebuilding. I don't want to loose myself in another relationship or because of another "failure" again. No matter what happens, love yourself.

(57) Sara, July 16, 2008 11:09 AM

Enjoy Your Talks

Lori, I really enjoy listening to your 1-2 minute talks.
I hope you'll be speaking in Brooklyn sometime soon.

(56) Anonymous, July 16, 2008 10:19 AM

not seeing the signs of an abusive husband abd pedofile in my own home for 23 years

(55) Anonymous, July 16, 2008 9:42 AM

buying a computer game

I regret purchasing a certain computer game for my son which he is now addicted to.

(54) Anonymous, July 16, 2008 8:10 AM

learning from mistakes

I was so busy providing and tending too everyone in my life that I failed/forgot to learn how to take time for myself. I'm working on that, working on not feeling lazy if I am not in constant motion or constant study! I enjoy your insights, Lori.

(53) gail, July 16, 2008 7:40 AM


Shalom Lori, I have had a very difficult relationship with my parents throughout my life. I am now 61. Met 3rd cousins in Jerusalem in '07 and '08 from my father's side and love it. My father can't understand. He has rediculed from in trying to locate them. Why? I'll never understand.
L'hitroat, Gail

(52) Wilma Huntington, July 16, 2008 7:16 AM

I would have a bedtime ritual of the best and worst things that happened to each child......a great communication tool.

(51) Nechama, July 16, 2008 6:47 AM

Show Appreciation

I deeply regret not telling my parents of blessed memory how much I admired and appreciated them. I was a good daughter, respectful and kind. But I never really gave either of them a compliment, though they gave me many.
You think your parents don't need to hear it but think of all the happiness you'll give them if they do.
You don't have to tell them they're the best parents in the world. Just remember and mention "little" things they've done for you over the years. You'll be surprised how much they have done and how much love they've given you.
Don't wait till it's too late.

(50) Anonymous, July 16, 2008 4:43 AM


I regret I married a woman I could not connect with emotionally. I had to take the very painfull unhealthy consequences.

I regret that I did not build my self confidence when I still were young. But it's better late than never.

I'm thankful to God that I have grown and that I can make better choices now.

(49) Anonymous, July 16, 2008 3:59 AM

Honor your parents

Honor your parents while you can...They won't be alive forever!!!

(48) eliana, July 16, 2008 3:07 AM

I would have had more courage

I have always cared deeply and wanted everyone to be happy. I tried so hard to make everyone happy that I forgot who I was. I'd like to have the courage to change that and live differently......... with the help of G-d I'm working on it.

(47) david, July 16, 2008 2:16 AM

not marrying sooner, accepting abortions

not having married sooner (30)

having aborted three children

blaming mother,shunning responsibility

(46) Donna, July 15, 2008 10:18 PM

bonding with children

When my daughters were growing up, I was attentive to so many aspects of rearing them, but I failed to just sit down with them, eye to eye, and just enjoy their company.

(45) Anonymous, July 15, 2008 10:07 PM


i regret not keeping up my nightly bedtime routine as "religiously" as before life got so busy. i used to mix some torah learning, exercise and reading into a relaxing nightly oasis after the day. i really want to get myself back on to the habit. i think i will!
thanks lori

(44) Anonymous, July 15, 2008 8:44 PM

Don't move far away from your home,

My huge mistake was moving far away from my family, and settling in a community that had few Jews. Although my journey was supposed to be temorary-"just for a year or two" I wound up setling far from my nuclear family and raising my children largely without benefit of their grandparents and extended family. ALthough I contributed to the growth of the nascent Jewish community in my new home, my children never had the joy of the larger Jewish world and their place in it, and they never got to really know their grandparents. Looking back, waaaay back, I think I was completely clueless.

(43) Angela, July 15, 2008 8:42 PM

Major Mistake

"The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty." - Proverbs 21:5

Hasty decisions... don''t make them. Wait to think. A decision I made to come this university and major in education is indeed costing me in many ways. What I thought would be the easiest and quickest way to get a master''s degree is now the drudgery and woes of my life. And now look, the proverb was right: I look forward to paying student graduate loans (and live) on a teacher''s salary.

(42) Moshe, July 15, 2008 7:53 PM

Educational choices

I once had an opportunity to get a license by choosing some slightly different college courses. I didn't. I have now spent 10 years trying to find a reasonably easy way to get the same license. Should have done it when it was easy - never turn down a chance to get a license.

(41) doris, July 15, 2008 6:38 PM

i have been married for 54 years. it has not been a happy marriage. i want to leave. is it too late?

(40) Cheryl, July 15, 2008 5:17 PM


Though I have had a wonderful marriage for 43 years, I regret eloping at ages 18 and 20, denying our parents the priviledge and opportunity to see us get married or celebrate with friends and family. Balancing marriage and then children with college was so much more difficult than it would have been, had we waited. The naievity of youth!

(39) lucy, July 15, 2008 4:22 PM

don't be pushed around!

A big mistake I used to make was letting people walk all over me. I have many secular friends who are not so sensitive to treating people with respect and for a long time I used to bend to their will without arguing or without asserting myself for the sake of peace. I think the turning point came when one of those friends asserted herself to me, and I thought, wow, how comes she got away with being so forthright?! My point is, stand up for yourself, I am not saying be pushy or rude or domineering, but just to take the courage to make sure that your needs are listened to because if you don't protect your interests then maybe no one will!!!


(38) ruth housman, July 15, 2008 3:34 PM

learning from each other

I agree with Laurie's almost always, sweet commentary on life. Life is this cosmic dance. We need to experience life and so we will make mistakes. Sadly, we often can learn from others more easily as we grow older but often the young who we yearn to teach, need to learn, each in their own way, and so do often repeat the mistakes of their elders.

It's a river and we all seem to be running that Marathon. Others can help pick us up and certainly avoid some of the visible boulders that slow us down.

(37) Moshe, July 15, 2008 3:34 PM

Regret Treatment of Old Girlfriend

Although I am a Jew and am now married to a Jew, I regret the way I treated an ex-girlfriend who was not Jewish. I treated her horribly, all in frustration that she was not Jewish. She was a great person and did not deserve the way I treated her. It was not her fault that she was not Jewish and I could not handle it. I'm sorry. The problem is no matter how I've tried to repent or apologize, I cannot shake the guilt of it all. This is one regret I will never be able to forget.

(36) Anonymous, July 15, 2008 2:05 PM

One of many mistakes I regret

The mistake I most regret is fighting with my husband in front of the kids. Today we have a pretty solid marriage based on mutual love and respect, but this follows times of bickering which I believe had a negative effect on the family. Today we both invest in giving the kids nice times on small family trip and the like, trying to create good memories. But if I could re-do it all, I'd have been more careful about the images they witnessed when they were young. I hope that my kids get it right the first time when they marry, please G-d.

(35) RLC, July 15, 2008 12:59 PM

Regrets about education and work

I regret that after graduating from undergraduate school that I did not immediately pursue my master's degree. I regret that when I married, I decided to postpone graduate school again and that I left a good job teaching at a university to follow my husband around the world. I regret that I told my husband that after having a child, I would stay home because he took that to mean that as soon as we got married, I would quit work. I regret that I did not fight harder for myself in telling my husband that he had to make better career choices because it just wasn't about his job, it was also about my job and finding meaningful work and making a difference. I think my bad choices -- to give up so much in exchange for so little, caused me to feel resentment toward my spouse and nearly derailed my marriage. Today, I am in graduate school -- part time. I have a toddler and when I finish school, I want to pursue a doctorate degree. I also want to find meaningful work outside of the home.

(34) Anonymous, July 15, 2008 12:48 PM



(33) Carl, July 15, 2008 12:35 PM


Our children were all athletically inclined so we believed they would be superstars and became obsessed with traveling sports. If we could do it over - we'd do more camping, fishing and hunting together and stick with sandlot sports. That's family life that we didn't get enough of. Yes, church is important also as this is the larger family.

(32) Anonymous, July 15, 2008 12:22 PM

Some "mistakes" have mixed results

My 1st marriage was a mistake, but I have 2 children from that marriage who are not mistakes. Sometimes certain actions are the best for certain situations, but when the situation changes actions have to be reevaluated.

(31) Sigal, July 15, 2008 12:05 PM

choice of a partner

See red flags in the conversation, actions and do not let your heart lead the way- to marriage, children and most times a divorce which will cost you and others tremendous pain. Feel comfortable in yourself and if you doubt- ask 3 people closet to you( who really care about you) dont lie to yourself about who you pick for this job,and let them help with advice on the person.
You may be lonely but not alone and a partner will come -

(30) Anonymous, July 15, 2008 11:46 AM

Almost Live

At our dinner table we talked with our younger children about educational goals. Their comments reverted to their older sibling that has seemed to have a lack of amibition for the current time. At first we called it a case of "senioritis", but it's continued and now time for college. I told them I can offer him the resources to further his education, I can offer him advice, but he has to be the one to register for college, etc. He seems disenchanted to say the least. This has begun to rub off on the younger siblings and their ideas of college/education. My husband said this great comment about... "A fool learns from their own mistakes, but a wise person learns from the mistakes of others." I loved it. I won't let him know where I heard it. Afterwards, I heard voiced a different attitude and ideas from our children. One is only entering ninth grade and wanting to visit an area college. Thanks.

(29) Yisraela, July 15, 2008 11:17 AM

Trust your intuition

I regret doubting myself so much...blocking out my own intuition in favor of what others told me the truth was or what was the best for me. This lead me into several situations that caused further abuse and damage in my life, piled on more things I need to work through for healing. My advice: listen to that still, small voice inside which is a gift from HaShem. Don't allow other people to cause you to doubt yourself. Always ask HaShem to guide your steps and trust the sense of direction you are given. Allow people into your life who really do have your best interest at heart...one sign of this is they believe in the goodness in you and your ability to receive direction from HaShem. These are good people to receive advice from...those who take away your power and act like they are the only one who knows anything, are the people to stay away from... they are wanting something for themselves and don't have your best interest at heart. Following your intuition will save you lots of pain and trouble and keep your load from becoming heavier.

(28) Michael, July 15, 2008 10:41 AM

Learning from mistatkes of others

Thank you for Almost Live, I always enjoy and learn from your stories.
I found that it is very dangerous to learn from other people mistakes, what can be mistake for one person not necessary mistake for other. What if person did a mistake by receiving certain degree engineering and later disappointing in it or by marring the person who she/he later divorced? Doesn't mean we should learn from his/her mistakes? Absolutely not, but what we can and should do is to learn from our own mistakes and avoid repeating them

(27) jana, July 15, 2008 10:40 AM

Enjoy each day with your children and family. My son was killed at 29 by a drunk driver. I was thankful we had a good relationship. God let me spend a lot of extra time with him that summer.

(26) Anonymous, July 15, 2008 10:29 AM

My mistake

One of my greatest regrets the I have shown disrespect to my husband and resisted his influence. I have also tried to change and redirect him instead of admiring and supporting him as the kind of person he is. I have learned that with regards to your spouse you will never change someone into what you want them to be, you will only destroy the goodness of what they already are.

(25) Anonymous, July 15, 2008 10:21 AM

childless is the way to go

If I had to do it over again I would not have had children.

(24) Mark Douglas Obenour, July 15, 2008 10:18 AM

Educational DO-Over

You asked what we would do differently If we had things to do over. Educationally I got an Associates Degree of Applied Science in Emergency Medical Technician Paramedic. If I had it to do over I would have gotten a Certificate in Paramedic and my Associates in Nursing? Why? #1 I was working on an ICU/Step-down floor as a
Unit Secretary/ Telemetry Monitor Watcher. Making Secretary's wages when I was teaching the Associate Degree Nurses how to read the PDR and making half as much money! #2 If I wanted to work in an EMS Helicopter I would have a better chance being cross-trained in Nursing and EMS. #3 The Associates in Paramedic you can only be a paramedic, with an associates in Nursing If you get tired of Practicing in one area, you can go practice in another area of medicine your not stuck to one area like EMS. #4. An Associate Degree gets you no more money in the back of an Ambulance than a certificate does. When my card in Ohio expires in September I can say I spent 28 years in EMS/Medicine and my
associate degree did not put any additional money in my paycheck when running in the ambulance that my certificate wouldn't have. I hope this helps someone to make a better decision if they are getting into allied health. Also If you are getting into Allied health take your medical terminology, and get your 2 English courses out of the way before you start your degree program. Another thing you may want to watch out for some schools have Anatomy and Physiology classes Separate for the Nursing Students and the other allied health professions. If you take the Nursing A&P you can transfer it into any other program but if you take the other A&P you have to retake the "Nursing" A&P when you transfer into that program because it has to be taught by the "Nursing" instructors.
Mazel Tov and Best Wishes If you are going into an Allied Health Profession, You can't help others too much, it is always rewarding.

(23) Eliana, July 15, 2008 10:08 AM

Just thinking about that

I was just thinking how to learn from other people mistakes, in order to correct mines, when I saw your article.
We are quickly to judge, and it is when we miss a great opportunity to learn.
Asking what are the most difficult things a person is going (or went) through in a given situation is a great tool to learn about others and mainly ourselves.
I liked when you mentioned that you learned from your sister mistakes in handling the family dynamic when she decided become religious.
I also liked a comment that somebody just posted about how to correct a mistake, going back step by step. I just sent an important e-mail without revise it. From that experience, I developed a protocol to send an e-mail. Words are powerful and permanent…
Great Column Lory!

(22) nachum, July 15, 2008 9:49 AM


not all the time that we struggle would we or should we have done things differently. sometimes our struggles are not do to any lacking on our part. sometimes they are do to reasons we cannot fathom. should have a parent who struggles with a handicap child of considered an abortion, more genetic testing, giving the child up for adoption? not necessarily. is an off the derech child the way they are due to any lacking of the parents. maybe the parents were rewarded with these special children due to some amazing attributes that the parents possess and the parents have done a terrific job inspite of what some might call not the best results. Have a great and rewarding day!

(21) Anonymous, July 15, 2008 8:30 AM

to Yisroel Pollak

"a fool learns from his own mistake" does not mean it's a mistake to learn from your mistakes. We all make mistakes, and the absolute best reaction is to learn from it and try to do better the next time.

"a fool learns from his own mistakes" means to the exclusion of others' mistakes. In other words, he hears about someone else's mistake but doesn't attempt to avoid it, and ends up making the same mistake. Doesn't learn from it until it's his own mistake.

(20) Anonymous, July 15, 2008 7:34 AM

help yourself

One thing that I guess can be a good piece of advice: go out of your way to help others whenever you can, be understanding towards their standpoint. At the same time, have the respect for your own person, and do not do (too often) things that although might be helpful for others, can damage or harm you. At the end of the day, we have the subtle line until which we can strech ourselves in chesed WITHOUT regretting it. Training ourselves, I believe day by day we can push the line a bit further.
Thank you Lori!

(19) Rosen, July 14, 2008 8:29 PM


When I make a mistake, I do my best not to repeat it again by learning methodically the steps to doing better. Thus, I am eager to learn and satisfy my employers and constituents.

(18) Larry, July 14, 2008 7:57 PM

Enjoy Almost Live

Enjoy your short talks on Almost Live - always some saged piece of wisdom to ponder. Thank you.

(17) Anonymous, July 14, 2008 7:53 PM

don't make the same mistake

I wish I would have understood the value of sensitivity, respect and putting my man before all else. I regret not really understanding the ideas of marriage and how to take great care of my special spouse. It is alot of hard work to make things right after so many years. I keep on trying to fix the mistakes i made, it would have been alot easier to treat my man like a king in the first place. Please take my advise, don't be a selfish woman, take care of your man before all else, show him you care everyday, the pain to repair and fix is excruciating at times, be wiser than I. Thank you for this wonderful forum, to help us grow and become better people all the time.

(16) Susan, July 14, 2008 6:31 PM

Don't Dwell on Regrets - Mitzvots Help

This could be the lyrics from Frank Sinatras song "I Did It My Way". "Regrets? I have a few, ..............la la la la, the final curtain".

My dentist and I talked the other day about "The Bucket List". This isn't regrets but looking to do something in the future before you die.. I asked if he had one. He had one thing on it. He asked me, and I said not really anything I want to do before I 'kick the bucket. We laughed and he said said maybe go to Israel, on that we both agreed. That would be a good thing to do. I wouldn't want that to be a regret at the end of my times.

By regrets, do you mean would I change anything about my life? I would say yes if it didn't affect the outcome of someone elses life. There are some things that I could have made easier for my family. And some things I should have made a faster or more firm decision about. I would have spent more time helping my parents. When I was younger, I could have helped my neighbors financially and I didn't. I should have left my marriage sooner. I wish I had not defined myself by my marriage. I would have studied Judaism sooner. I regret that I didn't realize the potential I had until later in life.
I regret that I didn't speak up when someone asked for advice. I didn't think my opinions were worthy of consideration.
Most of the things I have found regrettable, I have taken care of now. The above few can't be changed. But, I can learn from them and won't make the same mistake again.

(15) steven, July 14, 2008 1:51 PM

What I saw in Torah was great but......

going from nothing to everything was too much for my 20 year old brain (this was 34 years ago). I was at Yeshivat Dvar Yerushalayim at its beginning for 4 months and was too young to realize what I had. Due to my own action I was asked to leave... I been sorry and blamed them for family problems (father dying, wife having breakdowns) I know now it was not related and I wish to say I am sorry to Rabbi Horovitz. G*d did not punished me or my family for what I did not do by not following Torah...

(14) Yisroel Pollack, July 14, 2008 11:47 AM

A Mistaken Mistake

Where does it SAY a fool learns from one's own mistakes? I don't get it. What's wrong with learning from one's own mistakes? In any event, if it's a mistake to learn from one's own mistakes, there you have it! This is a MISTAKE I make all the time. The other day, I drew a parking ticket for not obeying the Alternate Side of the Street Parking Regulation (endemic to NYC). I like to think, I've learned from my mistake. Ooops! That's a mistake!

(13) Anonymous, July 13, 2008 11:02 PM

Too late

I moved to Israel 32 years ago as a new Baalas Teshuva. I became very close with a wonderful family in the Old City. As the years went by we lost touch. Around 10 years ago I saw an announcement in the paper that their son was engaged (I remembered him as a small toddler). I made a mental note to call them to say Mazel Tov, but somehow that phone call kept being put off. A few weeks later I met a friend of mine and she told me that the mother of the Chasan, who had been ill for a long time, had passed away a few days before. How I regret not making that phone call! It would have meant so much to her. But she's gone now and it is too late.

(12) Sorah, July 13, 2008 10:36 PM

studies vs dating

I wish I applied myself more in high school and parts of college. I should have concentrated more on my studies than dating boys.

(11) Lidiya, July 13, 2008 7:32 PM


First, I love Lauri's vignettes and always enjoy them.
Call me crazy, but at this stage in my life, at 51, I really don't have regrets. I could dig some up, perhaps, but that only serves to live in the past and is almost always, undue emotional suffering. As for today, I am blissfully pleased with my work, religious study, observance, davening, shul. I feel good about everything. It wasn't easy to arive at this. I wasn't always this way. I think people should eliminate the "if onlys." Savor today and make it a masterpeice. What you say when you talk to yourself has everything to do with how you feel and how much you enjoy the gift you were given. Give voice to inner pain, release it, and please live in the present. The greatest psychologists and thinkers of all time from the Rambam, to the Rebbe, to Dr.Twerski, etc. the advise is always to be fully present 'in the present.' Those are my 2 cents.
Blessings and Love to All,

(10) Anonymous, July 13, 2008 6:50 PM

I regret not doing anything about changing advisors even though my advisor was awful. Eventually I had to leave grad school.

(9) Anonymous, July 13, 2008 5:23 PM

Regret NOT waiting

I regret having married far too early, in my early 20s, which in my case was an act of running away rather than running toward. Ironically, at the time I thought I had done a great job of learning from the mistakes of my parents, who divorced when I was a teenager. (Can someone please tell me what is the Jewish term for "hubris"?) Almost 20 years later, having stuck out a marriage that never should have happened, I am about to leave--this time, I hope, walking onto a good path, rather than running away from a bad one. The lesson for others? Wait until you've really grown up, have overcome your past, and have gotten to know yourself as an adult with a track record of living baggage-free for a while. A marriage at 20-something for a divorced kid? No. Thirty-something is much more like it. And if you have any doubts when choosing, listen to your doubts. The gut can be like a second brain, sometimes it knows something important. Just say no and wait.

(8) mike, July 13, 2008 2:28 PM

time with children

when i first started my practice i worked many long hours and missed much time with my children. now that i have more time (some by choice and some due to injury) they are either away at school or busy as young adults. i regret the time away from the children earning money and not building a better relationship.

(7) Anonymous, July 13, 2008 1:59 PM


I wish that I had "done the right thing" instead of listening to my mother!!!! My mother would complain to me about my mother-in-law so much and I pulled back from my in-laws. This caused a tremendous amount of marriage problems and I'm still trying to figure things out. It's been very tough.

(6) Sara, July 13, 2008 12:05 PM

Regretting Waiting

I regret meeting who I thought was my perfect man and future husband in my 20s and then waiting 30 years for him to discover that I was his perfect woman. Now, at 55, I feel alone and that I have wasted my opportunity to find the truly right man for me.

(5) Anonymous, July 13, 2008 11:46 AM

I regret wasting so much money amd not being able to tell my kids "No, we cannot afford this" or No, this is a waste of money". (especially with the weddings) I would now have been able to spend more time with my grandchildren instead of having to work.

(4) Anonymous, July 13, 2008 9:28 AM


Dear Lori,
When are you coming to Chicago? My wife and I learn from you every week and think you are just awesome!

(3) Michael, July 13, 2008 9:16 AM

The Fifth Commandment

Thank God I am learning each day on improving to be a better SON to my Mother. Being like a mule in basically everything she said/taught me. For a long time. I woke up about 5 years ago and it has been the wisest decision in my life.

(2) Anne, July 13, 2008 8:15 AM

Regretting Laziness

I regret not applying my full academic potential to my tertiary studies. I missed out on many opportunities such as exchange programs, and a year of working because of this.

(1) Anonymous, July 13, 2008 8:00 AM

"Regrets,I have a Few"...

I regret marrying the businessman my parents wanted me to marry.Then I regret not ending it sooner and staying in it for the children's sake.


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