Guilty about things left undone?






No Unfinished Business

By George Clever  10 September 2013

There is no such thing as unfinished business.

What do we understand about the meaning of the phrase unfinished business?  To many it means a relationship unfulfilled with an unacceptable ending.  To others it means a project, task, creation or adventure yet to be completed to personal satisfaction.

Have I told you before that I believe everything happens for a reason?  There are no accidents.  Maybe I said this once more than I should.  I also believe that each person of importance in our lives is there for a purpose.  It may be for a brief moment, a passing experience, or a lengthy stay.  There is a beginning and ending to all these encounters. The time of these events is not within the control of those who participate in them.  I will come back to the importance of time in the understanding of unfinished business.

It is with humor the men in my family grunt and they say relationships are like buses.  There will be another one coming by in a few minutes.  It is a truth of mine that once the purpose of a specific relationship has been met; the relationship is free to end just like college classes.  The knowledge of this truth doesn’t make it any easier when relationships end, but it gives some relief to accept an ending.  This beginning and ending is also the nature of all things we do from our birth to death, from the first day at school to the last, from startup business to closing, to things we create and time destroys. 

Now that being said, I had an interesting dream which helped me identify the real heart of the unfinished business trouble.  Here is my take on the cause of believing we had unfinished business.  We are not perfect beings.  The errors we make in our judgment of all we do remind us we are not God.  One fundamental Christian belief is God makes no mistakes.  It is a belief few will argue but many will deny.  Let us put aside here the examples of the avocado seed that is too large and the evidence of previous extinctions on earth or the death of innocent people.  If we strive to be God or at least Godly we must make no errors in all we do.  

If you are a cook and you bake a pie or cake is it perfect?  Looking at your culinary delight coming out of the oven can you say, “I made this one pie perfect.”  Can you say, “I never need to make some little or large improvement to this baking wonder I have made like a change of recipe.”  Artist, musicians, speakers, actors and authors leave a performance and think or say, “I muddied up that picture.  I made a mistake with several notes.  Wish I had not said that.  Forgot one line and had to fake it. Oh no. There are so many errors in this piece of writing even after I edited many times and now it is published.”  Why is this common experience of making errors in all we do leaving us to think, error making just might be unfinished business?  All will make it perfect the next time, or will they?  Relationships are a product of our creative nature, subject to error not separate from all other creative acts of life.

Let me offer two lines of travel to follow as you contemplate your unfinished business and seek a solution or a finish.  One possibility would have you be a Marty McFly and Go Back to the Future or past to repair or change an unsatisfactory business event.  Therefore going back to the past must be considered.  The second possibility is to finish the business by going to the future.  Now you may ask, “Why not find a finish in the present?”  There may be no such thing as the present for as I write each word here they become words of the past.  Past, Present and Future are all manifestations of time.  We are human beings fascinated with time, lunch time, time out, time off, time to go, time on my side, time waits for no person, time flies, nap time, keeping time, quality time, time management, wasting time, killing time, and of course time travel. 

Just what is time?  To paraphrase St. Augustine, “I know what time is until you ask me for a definition about it, and then I can’t give it to you.”  In an ever expanding or contracting universe, our present and future are already past to some other point ahead of our universal travel.  What is past?  It is our memories or should I say your personal memories not universal to all, but personal.  The past exists only because we remember some form of it. What is then the future?  It is what thrives within our imagination, a scientific thriller.  Without our wonder and speculation about the future it would not exist and yet it does for us in the ever expanding past of universes beyond our time travel in space.   If the future is a projection created by our personal experiences stored in limited memory, the present has no measure quality although it gives us the most real feel of time.  Inaccessible past and future can be measured as durations.  All this strongly suggests the way we perceive time is but an illusion.  

"People like us who believe in physics know that the distinction between the past the present and the future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion"    Albert Einstein

If we are to undo or finish unsatisfactory business from the past we will have to travel there to make the changes.  Making those changes is fraught with dangers and unexpected consequences.  Consider the time travel paradox where the time traveler kills his grandfather thereby changing the future so the time traveler does not exist, cannot time travel and cannot kill his grandfather.  Now consider the present time traveler statically unchanged and in the moment trying to undo, fix or complete that miserably unfinished business. Any present action taken is automatically assigned to the past, but cannot undo what is already in the past.  Stephen Hawking views time as a river flowing from the past.  If this river contains matter of which we are composed then the river of the now contains that matter and the point in the past of interest on the river does not.  So the paradox of killing one’s grandfather in the past is false as he is no longer in any form there.  All he was is now only memories.  Back to the future with your time machine once again.  

"I do believe in time travel, time travel to the future. Time flows like a river and it seems as if each of us is carried relentlessly along by time's current. But time is like a river in another way. It flows at different speeds in different places and that is the key to travelling into the future. This idea was first proposed by Albert Einstein over 100 years ago." Stephen Hawking

As humans accelerate in space travel the quest is to reach or exceed the speed of light.  Doing so slows down time for the traveler.  Unfortunately for the traveler one’s mass also increases affecting their abilities and sustainability.  With the increase of speed, especially orbiting black holes there is a promise of finding a worm hole in the warp of space-time that would allow a jump to the future.  Given this is a possibility, would one be able to finish the unfinished business in that they are no longer there on the river of time, but a momentary visitor from time travel?  Another problem with future time travel is the earth moves in space.  If you do not move with it on your future travel the earth may not be there where you expect it at on landing. 

My guess is finishing unfinished business is best left to dreams, visions and actions to answer this question.  What if?   If a project was left incomplete, a task unfinished, a relationship unfulfilled, or a wish I had not done that or said that, rather than considering time travel to fix or complete these troublesome issues it may suit you well to learn from the past and move on.  Make a plan for those things thriving in your imagination requiring your attention now and in the future.  Begin with a new beginning and find satisfaction anticipating its ending regardless of the outcome.  It is your movie.  Action!  Take one!





jennifer clever 26.09.2013 15:59

I always enjoy reading your work. I am of course your biggest fan.

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Latest comments

14.04 | 15:16

Idealism killed by shot of fact.

14.04 | 14:51

This is a fascinating article.

03.06 | 00:41

Hello Frank,
Unfortunately, the turtle head has to come off and the insides discarded. I tried having ants eat it but they ate the shell as well. Sharp knife.

02.06 | 21:22

my turtle just died and I want to create a rattle.
How do I prepare him to do this.