Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Long-term Consequences

Sometimes we forget how far-reaching our actions can be, especially in this age of the internet.  Recently, I was smacked in the face with a reminder.

While wishing an old college buddy a happy birthday, I saw a post he had made to another friend from college, whom I hadn't yet reconnected with on Facebook.  Naturally, I clicked on the person's profile, because I enjoy finding out what has happened in people's lives over the past 25 or so years, and I sent him a friend request.  Then I went to look at his photos, curious as to how he had aged.

Imagine my surprise when the first photo to greet me was one of my old Facebook profile pictures.  And imagine my horror when I read the caption under it:  "My ex while attending Geneva Colege [sic], what a winner!" 

That stung for a moment or two, but then it struck me: What had I done to this man that over a quarter of a century later, he still harbored such bitterness toward me?

I sent him a private message, asking that very question, because if I did something, I'd like to offer a belated apology.  I honestly don't recall our dating and breakup as being anything particularly intense or traumatic, so I have no clue. He responded by blocking me on Facebook, so I will probably never know how I offended him.

But this was a good reminder to me that what we do now may have consequences way down the road.

Lord, may I always be mindful that my actions do have consequences, and that a careless word now might still be hurting someone 25 years from now!  Help me to guard my speech and actions so that I will not cause this kind of hurt to someone in the future.

4 comments:

Joanne said...

Wow... sorry ... but at the same time.. ALL THESE YEARS later? He can not offer you the chance to make things right? You did the right thing by asking.. and hopefully God will soften his heart.

alison said...

it may be simply that he's a jerk and it's nothing to do with you or your actions.

Steve Schappell said...

Wow. I am sorry to hear that.

Juliabohemian said...

That certainly is responsible of you to want to make amends. But I really question someone who can't get over something like that, so many years later and needs to resort to petty and childish means of expressing his disdain.

Hopefully -despite him blocking you- your apology of sorts had some effect.