Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
I always thought I was the queen of feeling guilty until I read this question. Even to me it seems just ludicrous to link these two events in any way.
It kind of reminds me of the other day when I was talking to a friend of mine. She is pregnant. After a string of miscarriages she is haunted by the prospect of another. On the day she came to visit us she'd discovered a dead pigeon in her back garden. She asked if I thought this was a bad omen. I wanted to laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of this suggestion. I mean how can anyone in their right mind read any significance into such a random event?
It just goes to show how stupidly rigid my thinking can be some days. Thank goodness for facial expressions and other non-verbal clues. One look at her face was sufficient to quell any humour in my mind. Deep rings under her eyes and anxiety etched clear across her face. No, I quickly saw that my humour and cynicism were inappropriate responses to my friend's concern.
Similarly here, I can see the ridiculous nature of the scenario posed ... but I can also see that underlying this question is one of how we perceive cause and effect. Our emotional state affects that perception and hence our responses to events.
If my best friend were in an accident I would do the same things regardless of any preceding row. I might feel very differently in terms of spurious feelings of guilt but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't let it affect my response to any great degree. I am a practical person so I would try to help in that way as well as offering emotional support to my friend and her family. That's it really. I guess there are some advantages to seeing things in such simple terms.
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