Ryan Holiday wrote a completely wonderful and melancholy article about lost chances. Holiday waited to respond to an email, before he responded his friend Seth Roberts died. I feel this in my being.
Reading the article I relived conversations I’ve put off or avoided until they no longer mattered or couldn’t be had. Sometimes like Holiday my actions were routine time management. Events are often unexpected, and most things will keep ’till Monday.
Other times I’ve put things off waiting for the right time. Holding off the hard conversation with the hopes someone will change. It’s never a bad time to tell someone you value them, and it’s never a good time to tell someone an uncomfortable truth.
On that Saturday, less than 72 hours later, Seth [Roberts] collapsed of a fatal heart attack while hiking in Berkeley. It would have been so easy for me to reply and and tell him how happy I was with what he had written. Or how much he’d helped me over the years and how excited I was to be working with him. How hard would it have been to give even the courtesy of acknowledging his email?