Hurting yourself and others

You think, when you do something less than wonderful, that if you leave it alone and forget about it, it’ll be fine, that everything will sort itself out. “It’s fine,” you rationalise, “no one was hurt, and hey, it was mostly [name changed to protect the other party] who was responsible… I was just along for laughs!” It doesn’t work like that, however.

Tonight something lame and stupid I did with a friend about 6 months to a year ago (no, we didn’t kill anyone… it would sound really mundane if I told you what it was) came back to bite me in the ass. Without going into detail, a dear friend found out about my moronic bit of mischief—something I figured was long behind me… not a big deal—and it all started coming back to me. At first, I just felt bad because I had damaged my personal standing with them severely. However, as time passed, the reality of it all started to set in. Because of something that seemed so funny and so pointless at the time, some mixed up kids could have very easily been hurt, heartbroken, or messed up emotionally. At very least, they would have been very angry at me and the other guilty party. But perhaps the worst thing of all was that I was not being true to who I am.

I’ve always made it a point in my life it be an honest, caring person. People always tell me how nice I am, and the like. But in this case, some insipid prank caused me to ignore all that. Ignore all that I have always stood for, just to get a cheap laugh.

We can’t always see the outcome of things in our life. We try our best to avoid bad situations, and I don’t think any of us would go out and intentionally try and hurt someone. However, it is very easy to get swept up in something. In this case, it had all started with, of all things, a friend asking for help with a little “project.” I helped out, partly out of boredom, partly because my friend asked, and I’m the kind of person who has a hard time saying no to a friend. Besides, once it was done, it looked pretty funny (conceptually and content-wise), and I saw no harm in the work.

Fast forward a few weeks. This friend was using our little funny joke to mess with people. It was playful and innocent at first, and I guess I had my share of laughs at some of the stuff he’d done, but after a while, I started to feel sick. Sick of what this was becoming, sick of how far he was taking it, sick for actually getting involved in the first place. I decided to swear off of involvement with the prank, thinking I’d be in the clear, but the damage had been done. I have next to no control over this monster I helped birth, and while even the other guilty person isn’t doing anything with it, it sits there as a monument of shame.

Really, there is nothing I can do to change what I did, except write this as a warning to you, my friends, family, readers and general internet populous: I’ve made a big mistake, and hurt people in ways I never thought I would. What I did started out innocent enough, like most mistakes, but oh how things get out of hand. Do Not Make The Same Mistake, Friends! Even if, in the end, the only person you hurt is yourself, you’ve still caused damage to yourself and your surroundings. We need to be careful of the consequences, seen and unforeseen, of our actions… even if we don’t see them in this life, who knows when they will come back to haunt us?

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