There are moments when you oh so desperately want to say something, but you just can’t. You may consider it for a moment or two. Maybe even open your mouth to say it, only to retract the unspoken statement. Maybe you’ve been dying to say something, but don’t have the courage. Maybe you don’t want to cause conflict even though something horrible is bothering you. Maybe what you were going to say was just plain rude. My point is; second thoughts matter.
Someone was being hurt. By you? You could not stop. It was uncontrollable. And when the blows came until nothing was left, you felt guilty. Maybe anger has blinded you. Perhaps revenge? That apology was on the tip of your tongue. But they didn’t deserve it. Did they?
Someone was being hurt by someone else? You could’ve stopped it. You could’ve said something or even screamed for help. Perhaps you just stood there and watched as they pleaded. Maybe even encourage the pain. Or maybe, like a coward, you ran away. They could be innocent. They could be guilty. Either way, nobody deserved this. But the image was etched and scarred through your mind. And the memory played over and over again in your mind until you knew every bloody detail by heart.
You were being hurt. Stop her! Your brain screams. Why are you letting her do this to you? But no, you know how this will end. She will twist your words, no matter how carefully chosen, and make herself the victim. It will not be stopped. So you kept quiet and it continued. Maybe got even worse. And each day, you question your strength. And you make up excuses for yourself. Or tell yourself that it’s not that bad. It’s going to be okay, even when it’s not.
And when you think about all the bad people in this world, you wonder when it will ever end. But you never look at the children and think that one of those little boys bugging his mom for ice cream is going to grow up to hit my best friend, or shove a gun in my father’s face while demanding for money, or slip drugs into a girl’s drink. But some of them might grow up to be the one to find the cure for cancer, end world hunger, or become the best United States president we ever had. The potential and possibilities are endless. Maybe a few words could change that.
Maybe you just wanted to say hello. To the new girl? Or maybe you’re the new kid and you just can’t bring yourself to say hi to the person sitting next to you. So you duck your head down and hide behind you history textbook, pretending to be interested in the architecture of Aztec pyramids.
Or goodbye. You were leaving forever. And you left without a word. No apologies or farewells. Maybe you were running away. But you never saw them ever again.
Maybe you wanted to tell someone how you really feel. You’re tired of pretending. No dad, I don’t want to go to Yale like you did. I’m going to an art school. Maybe you want to tell your kids that you’re divorcing each other. Maybe you want to tell someone that you love them or someone else that you don’t anymore.
Maybe you can DO something. Actions speak louder than words. But I know that I have said and done things I regret. I also regret NOT saying or doing something. Maybe second thoughts aren’t the best. But remember that they make a difference.