To Reflect: "intransitive verb to think seriously, carefully, and relatively calmly" as defined by MSN Encarta.
It is a term referring to deeper thought over one's previous actions or life experiences--at least that is the connotation I would like to use here. And it is something most of us are likely to do, at some point, as we move from experience to experience tucking each away for later recall and contemplation. For me, these feelings of wanting to "look back" [reflect] became more important as I passed the age of 50. Not sure why this was, it just kind of happened.
Now, before continuing, I think it appropriate to note that I, like most, have made mistakes. This is inevitable, right? Just part of the learning experience of life I would think. And as much as we might all like to reflect on only our positive experiences, the things that brought us feelings of pride and self-satisfaction, this is certainly not the case. Those "mistakes," the circumstances and situations we would like to forget, well...they are there too. After all, we are the sum of all of what we have done, not just pieces of what we've done. It is what makes us who we are, and it is what makes us human.
However, you do have to think about those individuals whose mistakes could weigh very heavily on them as they enter a stage of reflection. That time in one's life when you look back and "think seriously, carefully, and relatively calmly" about your life.
What will it be like for Bonds, Cushing, Landis, Rodriguez, Ramirez, Jones, and the rest who fall into that category many label as "cheaters?" (And I haven't even touched on the athletes who fall into the "Tiger Woods" category, a large group representing a different type of cheating.) Will this reflection process be one they enjoy if their positives outweigh the negatives, or will it be something depressing, something that creates emotional pain and regret, a time where they find themselves deeply wishing they could turn back the clock? I suppose only they will know the answer to that.
And for those still in a position to tuck away more positive memories to one day reflect on, the following may be of significance.
If You Live To Be 100!!!
If you live to be 100 years old you will spend the first 50 years of your life doing many things.
You will spend the next 50 years doing more things and reflecting on all of those things that you did in your first 50 years.
Toward the end of those 100 years of fruitful living you will spend a good deal of time continuing to reflect and evaluating those 100 years of life.
So, make sure you spend time doing things that are worth reflecting on and that bring value to you and to others.
It is in so doing you will find happiness in a life that was truly worth living.