the precipitating event

I hurt someone recently.

Unintentionally, without realizing what I was doing, so focused on my own needs and desires and emotions that I never even thought how grave my action was. It wasn’t until later when the subject came up and I said what I had done and I saw his reaction that I realized how wrong and horrible and utterly criminal my act was. It wasn’t until I saw his revulsion, heard the horror in his voice and became aware of how my act affected his life that I understood why my act was so wrong.

And it wasn’t as if my act was one of those things that people rarely encounter in a lifetime. No, parents and teachers and friends preached against this act. It was something common sense, something I should have known. But when it came time for me to not do it…I failed. I failed so completely and miserably – and I never realized that I was doing something wrong at the time. No warning bells went off in my head, no quiet voice spoke up within me and said, “Er…maybe you should not do this.” No, I broke ever precept of my moral code, betrayed the trust of a dear one, hurt him and affected his future….and all without realizing what I was doing.

I have always been rash, impulsive, thoughtless and careless. When I was younger, I used to have this horrible, ugly temper that resulted in ugly words and ugly acts. I grew out of it, I grew calm and happy with my life…but I still have this wild streak that likes to indulge in sensuality and emotionalism and selfishness. When this streak is in charge…I hurt people. It was just little things, you know. A sharp tone, a quick word, impatience and occasional criticism. I just never really cared to stop and think about how what I said or did affected the people around me.

It was all on such a small scale, just little actions, little hurts. I told myself that the people who loved me were okay with it because most of the time, I was a good, decent person, and they could overlook such actions surely. But it was this same impulse towards sharpness and thoughtlessness that was the root of my hateful, hateful action. By letting myself grow complacent and comfortable with my small mean-nesses, I created the opportunity for this ugly, unforgivable act.

When I realized what I had done, the shock of hurting someone so horribly tore me apart. I did this. I was capable of this kind of cruelty. I had it in me to be ugly and wretched and low. To be as horrible as the kind of people that I had spent my life despising. At heart, I was that same kind of detestable, hateful person.

It shook my world apart. When I was a sophomore in high school, I lost my faith, and it took me two years to recover from that, to explore my options, to decide what I believed in and to build my moral code. Once I did that, though, I was done with self-examination. I had my code, and I more or less lived by it, and I was confident that I was a decent human being. But to do this to a human being, to do this to someone I cared about…. What kind of person was I?

So that is the precipitating event, and that is what this blog is about: Rethinking my moral code, rethinking my beliefs, in order to never hurt someone like that again. I’m sorry, Aaron, I’m so fucking sorry.

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