During his visit to Asia last week, a group of Malaysian school kids asked President Obama about his greatest regret.
“I regret not having spent more time with my mother,” Obama candidly told the students when asked about his life regrets. “Because she died early – she got cancer right around when she was my age, actually, she was just a year older than I am now – she died. It happened very fast, in about six months.”
Ann Dunham died from ovarian cancer in 1995 just 22 days shy of her 53rd birthday.
“There was a stretch of time from when I was, let’s say, 20 until I was 30, where I was so busy with my own life that I didn’t always reach out and communicate with her and ask her how she was doing and tell her about things,” Obama said. “I was nice and I’d call and write once in a while. But this goes to what I was saying earlier about what you remember in the end I think is the people you love. I realized that I didn’t – every single day, or at least more often – just spend time with her and find out what she was thinking and what she was doing, because she had been such an important part of my life.” (Click here for the full story)
When I was researching my upcoming book on regret*, I ran across a 2011 study about the kinds of regrets that haunt us. [Read more]