I suppose most people have at least one thing they regret about. Like, something they should have done better, something they shouldn’t have done at all, and so on. Regrets hurt. A lot. It takes one sorry moment to curse it your entire life.
I’m quite young, in my early twenties, but I still have a great many things I regret. Most prominent among them is my behaviour with my parents when I was a kid. I was an unruly child–I threw tantrums when I couldn’t have my way. If I wanted something, like, say, an ice-cream cone and my parents refused, I would lie down on the floor and howl like a wolf puppy until my parents bowed before my wishes.
There is one instance I clearly remember because this was last of those embarrassing (for my parents) fits of mine: Our family was invited for dinner by a friend of dad. I was sitting calmly enough on the couch watching TV… until I began to throw things (everything I could get my hands upon) as far as I could. Among the things I threw included a flower-vase and an empty water-decanter which, of course, shattered on the floor and made a mess…
You can see I was not an easy child to have. This particular instance is just a minnow amid an ocean of fishes. And I regret all of them. I wish I could go back to my childhood and could behave properly as befits well-behaved kids. There are well-behaved kids, right?
I grew up. Although, I stopped throwing things and all, I remained a source of irritation all the same, not only to my parents and friends, but even to strangers as well.
There was a girl in 7th or 8th standard I loathed, for the simple reason I didn’t like her face (honestly, she was quite pretty and, naïve as I was, I couldn’t tell the difference between a duck and a swan). She was quite a sweet and gentle girl, but since I hated her, I started to plot ‘revenge’ for the wrong of ‘not having a nice-looking face” she’d done to me.
Do you remember those Boomer gums? They were a fad then, and I always had many of the gums in my pocket. One day, I saw my chance and managed to throw a well-chewed wad on her long hair. This time I regretted what I’d done immediately. I realised that though the girl was “annoying to look at”, she hadn’t done anything bad to me. I guess I was finally growing up. Or acquiring a conscience.
But the harm was done. She skipped classes for a week, and when she came, on the following Monday, her hair was cut short. One of her friends asked her what’s the matter, to which she replied, sobbing, “Some random jerk put chewing-gum in my hair”.
Of course, the “jerk” didn’t admit his crime, but I felt guilty and I’d learned my lesson. From that moment, I decided to be a good person, or at least a better person than before.
It didn’t always work, I confess, but I consider myself successful, more or less…