regret Quotes

67 of the best book quotes about regret
“Too many, Thomas thought. Too many by far. His joy dribbled away, turned into a deep mourning for the twenty people who’d lost their lives. Despite the alternative, despite knowing that if they hadn’t tried to escape, all of them might’ve died, it still hurt, even though he hadn’t known them very well. Such a display of death—how could it be considered a victory?”
I am I, and I wish I weren’t.
“As for me, my thoughts were made up of remembrances, and they carried me up to the surface of the globe which I ought never to have taken leave.”
“Still, to my mind he overdid it, and I’d have liked to have a chance of explaining to him, in a quite friendly, almost affectionate way, that I have never been able really to regret anything in all my life. I’ve always been far too much absorbed in the present moment, or the immediate future, to think back.”
“I opened my mouth, almost said something. Almost. The rest of my life might have turned out differently if I had. But I didn’t. I just watched. Paralyzed.”
“Regret is a tough but fair teacher. To live without regret is to believe you have nothing to learn, no amends to make, and no opportunity to be braver with your life.”
“Why could not I by that strong arm be slain, And lie by noble Hector on the plain?”
“I can’t stand myself for doing it, but I do it anyway.”
“Even as he laughed about it Holly could see the regret in his eyes. Regret for the things he never made time to do, the places he never saw, and sorrow for the loss of future experiences.”
″‘Everything I do is wrong. You think I don’t know that? I’ve screwed up my entire existence, and everyone who’s close to me gets screwed right along with me.‘”
“I take it back, Woodrow,” Augustus said. “I have no doubt you’ll miss me. You’ll probably die of boredom this winter and I’ll never get to Clara’s orchard
“The only thing worse than giving up is wishing that you hadn’t.”
“I seemed forsooth too simple to perceive The serpent stealing on me in the dark.”
“Everyone wanted to believe that endless love was possible. She’d believed in it once too, back when she was eighteen. But she knew that love was messy, just like life. It took turns that people couldn’t foresee or even understand, leaving a long trail of regret in its wake. And almost always, those regrets led to the kinds of what if questions that could never be answered.”
“We ruminate on suffering, regret, and sorrow. We chew on them, swallow them, bring them back up, and eat them again and again. If we’re feeding our suffering while we’re walking, working, eating, or talking, we are making ourselves victims of the ghosts of the past, of the future, or our worries in the present. We’re not living our lives.”
“What am I going to regret? My mind cycles through visions: my mom alone in my white room wondering where everyone she’s ever loved went. My mom alone in a green field staring down at my grave and my dad’s grave and my brother’s grave. My mom dying all alone in that house.”
“And Clarissa had cared for him more than she had ever cared for Richard. Sally was positive of that. ‘No, no, no!’ said Peter (Sally should not have said that—she went too far).”
There is no remorse so deep as that which is unavailing; if we would be spared its tortures, let us remember this, in time.
“Do you regret that poor little act of justice to an absent one? O, Izz, don’t spoil it by regret!”
“Bones mend. Regret stays with you forever.”
“For certainly old age has a great sense of calm and freedom; when the passions relax their hold, then, as Sophocles says, we are freed from the grasp not of one mad master only, but of many. The truth is, Socrates, that these regrets, and also the complaints about relations, are to be attributed to the same cause, which is not old age, but men’s characters and tempers; for he who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.”
“I repent nothing.”
“Marylou was the only girl Dean ever really loved. He was sick with regret when he saw her face again, and, as of yore, he pleaded and begged at her knees for the joy of her being. She understood Dean; she stroked his hair; she knew he was mad.”
“The night was getting more and more frantic. I wished Dean and Carlo were there - then I realized they’d be out of place and unhappy. They were like the man with the dungeon stone and the gloom, rising from the underground, the sordid hipsters of America, a new beat generation that I was slowly joining.”
“And on that evening when we grow older still we’ll speak about these two young men as though they were two strangers we met on the train and whom we admire and want to help along. And we’ll want to call it envy, because to call it regret would break our hearts.”
“I have been mortal, and some part of me is mortal yet. I am full of tears and hunger and the fear of death, although I cannot weep, and I want nothing, and I cannot die. I am not like the others now, for no unicorn was ever born who could regret, but I do. I regret.”
“If heaven ever wishes to grant me a boon, it will be a total effacing of the results of a mere change which fixed my eye on a certain stray piece of shelf-paper.”
“We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went, and sorry it’s all gone.”
“And then it was not a toy lion, but a real lion, The Real Lion, just as she had seen him on the mountain beyond the world’s end. And a smell of all sweet-smelling things there are filled the room. But there was some trouble in Jill’s mind, though she could not think what it was... The Lion told her to repeat the signs, and she found that she had forgotten them all. At that, a great horror came over her.”
“I don’t regret anything I’ve ever done in life, any choice that I’ve made. But I’m consumed with regret for the things I didn’t do, the choices I didn’t make, the things I didn’t say. We spend so much time being afraid of failure, afraid of rejection. But regret is the thing we should fear most. Failure is an answer. Rejection is an answer. Regret is an eternal question you will never have the answer to. ‘What if . . .’ ‘If only . . .’ ‘I wonder what would have . . .’ You will never, never know, and it will haunt you for the rest of your days.”
“I wished I had died before I ever loved anyone but her.”
“I’m very much obliged to you, Irene, for getting me out of that hole, but I wish you hadn’t made a fool of me afterwards.”
“regret is mostly caused by not having done anything.”
“Since life is our most precious gift And since it is given to us to live but once, Let us so live that we will not regret.”
“Even you are not rich enough, Sir Robert, to buy back your past. No man is.”
“And apologies, once postponed, became harder and harder to make, and finally impossible.”
“One thing I can tell you for sure is this: we only regret what we don’t do in life.”
“I will never, ever regret the things I’ve done. Because most days, if you’re stuck in one of these, all you have are places in your memory that you can go to.”
“No space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused!”
If I look back I am lost.
“But now it’s too late. And that’s why at this moment I feel so much hate. Toward myself. I deserve to be on this list. Because if I hadn’t been so afraid of everyone else, I might have told Hannah that someone cared.”
“And now the two of you have plotted my betrayal together. You will regret what you have done, all the rest of your lives.”
“It was too late for me to regret what had occurred during the day.”
“Your little brother Philip is the King of France now and he wants your wedding dowry back. I only took you for your dowry. You were seven. [...] The Vexin is a little county but it’s vital to me.”
″‘As much as your playing filled my heart, it pains me to say you must leave the piano be. It’s never to be touched.’ Her eyes filled with regret. ‘It’s a shame, beautiful instrument like that, just begging to be played. And to think of all the music that used to come from it.‘”
“I’m just tired of everything... even of the echoes. There is nothing in my life but echoes... echoes of lost hopes and dreams and joys. They’re beautiful and mocking.”
“Creators understand that their emotions are not necessarily a sign of the circumstances. They understand that in desperate circumstances they may experience joy, and in jubilant circumstances they may feel regret.”
“The only things I regret, and the only things I’ll ever regret are things I didn’t do. In the end, that’s what we mourn. The paths we didn’t take. The people we didn’t touch.”
“I lost their childhood. Sometimes, you feel bad.”
“The boy wanted to tell them how he regretted that he had been unkind to them; and that never, never-from now on- should he be anything but good.”
“And in the course of those miles Claudia stopped regretting bringing Jamie along. In fact when they emerged from the train at Grand Central into the underworld of cement and steel that leads to the terminal, Claudia felt that having Jamie there was important. ”
“But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.”
″‘Regret’ can be my memoir’s theme, she thought, as she tried to shove the cheese grater into the dishwasher next to the frying pan. A Regretful Life, by Joy Delaney.”
“We are instructed to write down not just our deeds but our feelings, because it must be known that we do have feelings. Remorse. Regret. Sorrow too great to bear. Because if we didn’t feel those things, what monsters would we be?”
“I wouldn’t have complained about brushing my teeth, or taking a bath, or going to bed at eight o’clock every night. I would have played more. Laughed more. I would have hugged my parents and told them I loved them. But I was ten years old, and I had no idea of the nightmare that was to come. None of us did.”
When people look back on their lives, it is the things they have not done that generate the greatest regret...People’s actions may be troublesome initially; it is their inactions that plague them most with long-term feelings of regret.
“A life worth living might be measured in many ways, but the one way that stands above all others is living a life of no regrets.”
“At some point we must stop: 1. Replaying what happened over and over. 2. Taking what was actually terrible in the past and tricking ourselves into thinking it was better than it was. 3. Imagining the ways things should be so much that we can’t acknowledge what is.”
“I make no excuse for that. I will wear that shame all my life. I cannot undo it, but I will spend my days wishing I could.”
″‘You’re right, ma’am,’ I sez. ‘They’re hungry all right, as you’ll learn to your sorrow,’ I sez, ‘when them vegetables come up.‘”
″‘We can’t get out till he lets us go!’ said Mollie. ‘Oh dear, why did we ever come here? I’m sure that little man is a gnome or something.‘”
“I daily discover so much baseness and ingratitude among mankind that I almost blush at being of the same species, and could quit the stage without regret, was it not for some gentle, generous souls like my dear Peggy. Benedict”
“...the memory of a particular image is but regret for a particular moment..”
“Quieting the mind means less thinking, calculating, judging, worrying, fearing, hoping, trying, regretting, controlling, jittering or distracting.”
“There should be no room in your life for regret. If in the moment of doing you felt clarity, you felt certainty, then why feel regret later?”
″...over the years things happened in that family that caused some terrible regret. Still, for years it all seemed to me blindingly beautiful. And it was.”
“Those who are comfortable taking chances know that the best way to grow is to reach beyond their grasp. Their sense of direction comes from the heart. They don’t shy away from surprise; they might even seek it out. And they seldom die with regrets. In the end we regret not what we have done but what we have not done.”

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