As a youth I was generally a pretty decent kid, but in some cases, particularly in my teens, I acted like a feminine cleansing product one might use on a Summers Eve if you know what I mean... One such case came back into my conscience recently...
There was a kid in school with us that was different than the other kids. Not going to say how, just different... Not in my group of friends and associates. Several of my friends, one in particular took particular joy at taunting them. I never really thought it wrong at the time, and shamefully I must admit, I took part in hurling the taunts and insults once the ball got rolling.
I can try to make excuses, I can say I didn't know better, that I was taught conflicting messages about people different than me by my parents, society, media whatever, but it would be shallow meaningless cover over inexcusable stupidity on my part. I followed along to be part of the cool kids crowd, and hurt someone that didn't deserve it. I know it, and she knows it.
And the worst part about it is, the "cool kids" really weren't all that cool when you boil it down. They really were the same as me in many ways, just small town nerds trying to cover up their own insecurity. Had I known then what I knew now, that if someone didn't like you for who you are, that's their loss not mine, I wouldn't have been that cleansing product...
Mind you the person I am now would never even consider doing, or condoning such a thing. I would actively speak out against such behavior, LOUDLY, no matter who the friend / relative / whatever is... And it is one of the things about who I was then that plainly and simply disgusts me. I wish so deeply and sincerely that I could wipe so many things from that period in my life completely out of history. I never imagined the harm I was doing, or allowing to take place. Now I am so very angry at who I was back then for not only allowing it to happen, but for my participation in it.
But that was then, and this is now right? Literally decades have passed, and until very recently I haven't given at least that portion of that period of my life a second thought. So why on earth would this come up now?
It would seem I am not forgotten, at least on Facebook that is... The target of mine and my friends stupidity has recently had the class, dignity and grace to friend me on Facebook.
I need to address this issue with them. I need to seek forgiveness and make things right. I know I do, but I haven't the slightest idea how to do this without opening up old hurts that should have been left long ago in the past.
So how do I let someone know that I am so terribly sorry for what the boy I was then did, and that the man I am now, is as disgusted as they should be at the boy I was then? How do I make this right? How can I take the hurtful memories of decades past and turn them into a foundation of forgiveness in someone else' heart?