Is there anything in life of which we could not say that we could have done it better? It would be sad if there were anything with which we could be completely satisfied, because there is nothing we could not do better.
The difference between a person standing higher and one standing lower in lifeis precisely that the latter always desires to be satisfied with himself. The person standing higher in life is never completely satisfied, because the subtle wish to do better, even to do things differently, always exists as a motive.
This is an area that is often misunderstood. People see something great when they regret a deed. However, that is not the best we can do with a deed, because we often base our regret in egotism; namely, people desire to have done the deed better to be better people. That is egotistical.
Our striving will be without egotism only when we cease to desire to have done a completed deed better and instead place greater value in doing the same deed better the next time. The intent and the effort to do something better the next time is higher than regret.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – The Foundations of Human Experience: lecture 4 – Stuttgart, August 27, 1919
Translated by Robert F. Lathe & Nancy Parsons Whittaker
This quote is not in the RS Archive, as far as I know. This was sent to me by a friend from Lebanon.