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Top 5 regrets of the dying [link]

3 Post author: Dr_Manhattan 04 February 2012 05:56PM

Comments (9)

Comment author: Pfft 04 February 2012 06:04:10PM 13 points [-]

Robin Hanson wrote about it on Overcoming Bias.

Comment author: SonnieBailey 05 February 2012 03:22:49AM 9 points [-]

I agree with Robin Hanson. I'd go further and say this smells like unsubstantiated self-help in disguise.

It's interesting that Hanson's wife, who also works with dying people, cannot recall a single patient spontaneously expressing a general life regret. This suggests that Bronnie Ware asked the patients what their greatest regrets were.

For one thing, this strikes me as a bit mean. Of all the things that you could ask a dying person in their last days or weeks of life, why ask them what their regrets were? If you care about their welfare, there are better questions you could ask.

On another note, there is a good chance that her questions were leading questions. Or that the responses Ware received have been filtered through her own worldview.

If you give some thought to these comments, they are largely meaningless. What does it mean to "live a life true to myself"? What does it mean to have "the courage to express my feelings"? Is it really true that you can simply let yourself be happier?

Comment author: Dr_Manhattan 04 February 2012 06:38:26PM 1 point [-]

Excellent, thanks!

Comment author: Quinn 04 February 2012 07:35:37PM 8 points [-]

Cached wisdom?

Anyway, I'd be more interested in hearing the regrets of those people who lived true to themselves, didn't work too hard, let themselves be happier, etc. Do they wish they'd worked harder and "made something of themselves"? Been better at cooperating with the rest of society?

Comment author: faul_sname 05 February 2012 03:56:56AM *  2 points [-]

Why should we care more about what people think in the last 12 weeks of life as opposed to any other 12 weeks? Why is that perspective more important or more wise?

Comment author: Dagon 06 February 2012 08:45:34PM *  0 points [-]

We should give (slightly) more credence to what people in their last 12 weeks of life say, as they have (somewhat) less reason to mislead their listeners - they have less to gain from listeners' reactions.

Comment author: jpulgarin 06 February 2012 03:36:17AM 0 points [-]

More time to think about past experiences and also more time to see their long-term consequences.

Comment author: faul_sname 06 February 2012 03:58:17AM 1 point [-]

That seem like a more general reason we should pay attention to what older people say, and is a valid point. However, it doesn't seem to specify why the very end of life is a significantly more important time than say, the first 12 weeks after turning 65.

Comment author: jpulgarin 06 February 2012 10:35:09AM *  1 point [-]

However, it doesn't seem to specify why the very end of life is a significantly more important time than say, the first 12 weeks after turning 65.

It's probably not - I was simply replying to your point about how all 12 week periods of life are equally valid.