By Ghazanfar Kiani '25
Has anyone heard of the CN Tower Edgewalk? For those familiar with it, you know it is a scary thing to do. For those of you who don’t know, the CN Tower is in Toronto, Canada, and is a tourist attraction for many. On the top is a viewing station that wraps around the whole tower with glass windows, floors, and restaurants. Above this is a smaller platform that is five feet wide that also wraps around the tower and people have an opportunity to walk on this outdoors. Though visitors are being held by a rope and can move freehand, it is still a very exhilarating and terrifying experience.
My family visited the CN Tower when I was eleven, and I didn’t even want to go up to the regular viewing platform, but I went up. I had a chance to try the Edgewalk, but as an eleven-year-old who found himself already over 1100 feet off the ground, I turned this down as if my mom never asked. This is something that I regret now as I share this with all of you. I could’ve been looking down at thousands of small dots, thinking that I’m going to die even though I wasn’t, I chose not to do it, just like many other things.
Regret and fear are two things that hold us back in life and I was stopped by one before and the second one now as I talk to all of you. This experience was one that I wish I could’ve done and I could still do it now if I wanted to go back, but it’s not the same feeling as before. And for everyone here, if you had a moment that you decided to say no to, and then wanted to go back now, I almost guarantee you it will never feel the same. The feeling that you have when you find a way to overcome your fear is one of the best many people will ever feel.
You have probably heard of the Eiffel Tower, and when I was at the bottom of it looking up as a nine-year-old, I set my mind on not going up. The worst part was that my little brother wasn’t scared, but I was. My parents forced, well, let’s say they strongly encouraged me up there, and while I didn’t want to go even to the lowest level, I ended up going to the top. When I was up there in one piece, all feelings of dread and fear were replaced by exhilaration because knowing the feeling of that experience today, would have been one of the worst to regret. When you compare these two thrilling times, I hope you can begin to see why you should try things the first time so that you don’t have to feel regret later on.
Regret doesn't only have to be in the more adventurous moments of your life but could be in everyday life as well. From sixth grade until this very moment, I regret not trying as hard in English. Now I do not mean to insult any English teachers because your classes are great, but I have come to recognize that I could be a much better writer if I took in feedback and put in extra work, and that would help me with this speech a lot. Regret can also apply to friendships. In sixth grade, when a new student came to attend the school, I tried talking to him a few times but not much more. I thought I would talk to him more throughout the school year but then one day he left out of nowhere. It’s hard to say where the friendship might have gone but I’ll never know. This was worse than not going on the Edgewalk because I could never get a second chance at this.
What I’m trying to tell you with my personal stories is that regret is something we can often prevent from experiencing, but we still do because fear strikes at the moment. It is a cycle that can be stopped and so when you look at something the next time, think will I regret this choice? And even if you won’t just do it. So as Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.”