I was at book club a few months ago. We were discussing the book, and something in the discussion made my friend P say the following:

Back in the 60’s, I thought it was great that I heckled the soldiers returning from Vietnam. After all, we were protesting a war. Calling them killers, calling them even worse names- it’s what we did. It was very on trend.

Now, looking back I am mortified with how I treated those people- people who were my age, perhaps younger. I was a horrible human being who thought she was justified because I felt my cause was so great I could mistreat others.

I am ashamed of my actions back then.

We live in a world where people take their causes very seriously.

We live in a world where anyone can state their opinion on social media.

We live in a world where people can, and do, openly mock those they feel oppose their particular point of view.

We live in a world where everyone thinks they are right, and those who oppose them are wrong.

We live in a world where it is so easy to be mean to others.

Think about your own life and your own actions. Are you one day going to regret something that you did/said in the name of a cause? Because you thought you were so 150% right that there was no margin for error?

Before you open your mouth, before you poise your fingers over a keyboard, before you do anything, are you actively thinking out your actions?

Or are you just reacting to something?

Do you understand all the sides of an issue before you do anything?

Or do you jump on a cause du jour?

Maybe others will forget how you treated them- but will you forget how you treated others?

55 thoughts on “Will I Regret This

  1. You have brought up many good points to keep in mind.

    I do regret many things I have done and said over the decades. Often they have come back to harm me in many ways. I also have enough empathy to feel remorse for any harm done to others who may have been involved. All that regret and remorse has led to repentance once I realized it was ultimately God I offended.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. We didn’t do that in the 60’s. Because it was our friends and classmates getting drafted snd dying. . But my sister who is three and a half years younger did. She was in college in the 70’s. Now she is embarrassed that she acted like that. My brother is two and a half years older than I and he and I protested. We lost too many friends over there to say something so foolish. But those kids who were 3 or 4 years younger didn’t get it. They couldn’t relate.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. In the early 70’s SDS and other groups got violent and things changed. I graduated college in January of 71 and was married. We went out to California snd everything was still peace and love out there. My sister started college in 1973 and she took part in all that. She lives with the guilt.
        Young people have to live with the consequences of their actions.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I know people who spend their days trolling social media to yell at people who they disagree with politically. One such friend has even made political comments on posts of mine that were not even about anything, just dumb jokes. I do wonder if they will look back at this time with regret. I try to not engage or get into political arguments with people

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  4. Back when I was a child we used to call other children retards, then, years later, my own children were born with birth defects. I do regret the words of my youth.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 😐Whether you disagree with a war or not, I’m afraid abusing the men and women who serve their country can never be justified, yes disagree by all means, but vent any vilification at the politicians……they’re to blame!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah, I am so glad that I am reading this post right now. You are so wise, LA. You are pointing to something that is so important for human beings to understand, yet, the paradox is, is that it is also very hard for human beings to take action inside of these concepts. I’ve written a l lot, and practiced a lot, what you are talking about. I usually write, and or say, please pause, breathe, reflect, choose, then act, if possible; and, in most situations, we can respond, rather than react. Excellent post, my friend.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. You know what. I’m total guilty of reacting WAY before I think. And once I can calm down and mull it over then I feel sheepish sometimes because I will see the other side. What others are thinking and their experiences. Perception is the BIGGEST piece in a lot of that, in my opinion. But, I do have to say I do love when I’m put in my place. Takes awhile of anger, embarrassment, then I guess a realization. While I’m writing this i realize there are so many more points to ponder. I do speak a lot before thinking. I really need to focus on that. It saves a lot of misconception. Perception, I’m telling you, is a bugger.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. In this particular case, I had two brothers fighting in Vietnam so I was a defender even though I probably didn’t understand all sides politically. You are right that it is easy to post things out of passion and not genuine thought. Is it kind? Is it necessary ? Is it helpful?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I can’t emphasis enough how important this post is for our society today. It doesn’t matter where you stand on an issue, you simply do not have the right to berate others for their decisions and beliefs. I have a friend that is so adamant that her views are right and everyone else is wrong she makes it difficult to have a discussion without it resulting in a heated debate. I guess the point being radicalized people don’t promote their point of view they turn people off with their closed minds and adamancy that everyone should think and feel as they do. Great post, C

    Liked by 2 people

  10. There is a difference in making a point, and making one’s point at the personal expense of another. Problem is, most people, in the passion of the moment misread this nuance. And social media, a battleground prepared by power seeking interest, only serves to throw shade on any such fine distinction. Thoughtful post.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Yes! And guilt/regrets are worst, they kill you. We should all think twice before doing something that could harm anyone physically our emotionally. And sadly technology has made everything so quick and easy that people hurt others and move on. 😔

    Liked by 1 person

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