By Byron (Jug) Varner
We laugh at Yogi's saying, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it,” but those who believe in fate would say that each serious decision one makes at the fork of the road can change his or her life forever. All of us have made personal decisions in the past that may later cause the question, “what if?”
That is true in the fate of a nation as well. Take war, for instance. What if:
* Adolf Hitler had invaded England instead of Russia in WW II?
* Congress had not passed the 1940 Selective Service Act (Military Draft)?
* Japan had followed-up their disastrous victory at Pearl Harbor with an invasion of that Island?
* Japan had invaded the West Coast of America, as feared at the time?
* General Eisenhower had called off the D-Day invasion because of the weather forecast?
* Germany had developed its atom bomb before it surrendered?
* The U.S. had not dropped the A-Bomb on Japan?
* President Truman had given Gen. Douglas MacArthur the green light to invade * North Korea, instead of firing him?
* President Lyndon Johnson had allowed the generals to run the Vietnam War instead politics and public opinion, and allowed an invasion of North Vietnam at its weakest point in time?
* President George Bush (the elder) had not abided by the mandate of the United Nations to stop the Gulf War, and totally destroyed the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein?
* The Terrorists had been successful in their initial bombing of the World Trade Center?
* The Terrorists had been successful in all of their planned simultaneous attacks on 9/11/01?
Perhaps if any of the above had occurred each succeeding question may have been irrelevant.
As to our individual lives, every decision we made had alternatives — any one of which could have changed the way things are today…but maybe not. My take on this is that if you make the best decision possible with the facts at hand at the time (and are sober), there should be no regrets, no what-ifs. If you had it to do all over again you probably would have made the same decision you made the first time. The only perfect science is hindsight.
Life is a fork in the road. You have a 50-50 chance of being right…and a 90% probability of taking the wrong turn. But then, who knows if it would have been wrong? You may have been run over by an 18-wheeler if you'd have turned the other way.
For good mental health, you merely do the best you can with what you have where you are. Then don't worry about what might have been. It might have been worse than you thought.