You know how in the Flatliners, one’s past comes back to haunt them until they make amends? It was sort of like that for me yesterday, but with a twist. Whereas in the movie, the people of the past were back to take revenge, in my case there was grace, and probably more than I deserved. But the effect, if anything, was stronger and more permanent than revenge could ever achieve.
It’s like this… Once upon a time, I had laughed my butt off in the face of someone for something they didn’t quite do well. Let me simply call this person, “Ramona”. Well, Ramona and I both got caught up with life and I had quite forgotten about her altogether. But as it turned out, she went on to excel and become well-known in the very same thing I had laughed at her for. Now, all these years down the line, Ramona was actually being nice to me, even allowing me to witness and be a part of her ‘guts and glory’. I looked for the expected shades of pride and the “ummm-so-you-were-saying?” attitude, but not finding much, I had to take it as genuine.
First of all, it felt like a jab in my guts, a payback that proved I had been wrong back then. Then it made me want to slit my own throat for having been such a jerk in the first place. Most of all, it made me feel ashamed – ashamed that I had to be taught a lesson in grace from someone I had once written off as useless.
I would have liked to soothe my wounds by telling myself that perhaps my ridiculing Ramona is what first angered and thereby motivated her to prove me wrong and get where she is. But that would have been very vain, conceited and irresponsible (not to mention, supremely wretched) of me. So, I found myself actually thankful for an opportunity to set the record straight, as humbling as it was.
Ramona is just one person, but I have been wondering how many others I might have mocked in the past for whatever reason. I know I probably won’t be given an opportunity to identify and make it up to every one of them face to face. But let me take this opportunity to say how sincerely sorry I am to every “Ramona” that has ever been derided, both on behalf of myself and also on behalf of anyone else that was responsible for your hurt. And I really mean this:
I was wrong to discount you or treat you in any way less than you deserved. I should have thought of you more highly than I thought of myself. You are NOT useless or good for nothing, as my words or actions might have led you to believe. And for whatever anger, hurt, fear, disappointment or regret I may have caused you, I sincerely apologize. I assure you that I will think a million times before I ever laugh my butt off at someone else’s expense again. I just hope you can find it in you to forgive me. Thank you!
You might be thinking, big deal, this is nonsense! But for someone out there, it is a big deal. So, for all it’s worth, there, I’ve said it.
And if you’ve ever laughed your butt off at me, chill. You’re forgiven. It’s all good.