A Lesson Learned the Hard Way

January 23, 2012
By cmalcolm DIAMOND, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
cmalcolm DIAMOND, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
54 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Who you Finna Try"

I have learned many lessons in my life. Some important, and some less essential, but probably the most crucial lesson I have ever learned in my life is to be nice to people, especially friends. . .

There was a point in my life where I hit rock bottom. I had fell into a routine habit of being mean to everyone. I told everybody I hated them either because I didn't understand them, or because I thought no one cared about me, or perhaps because I believed I had nothing to lose. In this junction of my life I had just gotten out of a relationship with someone who I was really close to and who I thought I really loved. . . I was clinically depressed for almost a year. I would cry my eyes out for days upon days, and a majority of the time, the tears I shed were over something childish or of little importance. In general, I was an incredibly sad and angry person. I released my anger and sorrow on other people. I had virtually no friends besides one or two people I sat with at lunch. My actions and words towards the people whom I called my friends, were substantially less than respectful or sympathetic. I entrenched them with negative remarks and comments, and for what? What was I gaining from doing this?

The answer is, I was gaining a renewing sense of “equality” amongst the pattern of life. Looking back on it, I presume my logic was that if life was going to be terrible to me, I was going to submerge others with rude comments and cruel remarks. As if making someone else feel bad, made it fair. This narcissistic and deluded logic was indefinitely my overwhelming downfall in an effort to socially connect with people.

I cannot believe the constant terrible feeling I invoked upon my peers. I felt a need to make them suffer the same pain that I was to embodied in self-righteousness, to have to go through alone. I still don't quite know why I felt this way. I lost so many friends and had no where to turn. Unintentionally, I nearly ensured I made concrete enemies that year, and I deeply regret it because I will never be able to undo what has been done. But there is still hope for some likelihood of friendship if the situation were to remain in its current state.

I hadn't the slightest notion that it would be a simple task to reverse the methods in which I treated my friends. I knew it would require an enormous amount of effort and diligence upon my part. It is very difficult to have done something for so long and then suddenly attempt to revert to a more positive attitude about people.

The first step I made in effort to progress to a better lifestyle was seemingly simple. A huge number of apologies to those closest to me was in order. I knew such a task would not be easy, but it turned out to be a much more complicated endeavor than I could ever have imagined. It took me weeks to muster up the courage to apologize to people. This was due to the fact that I didn't know how they would react, and I didn't know what they would say. . . I wonder if they would the accept my apology after all this time. The only thing I was entirely sure of was that I needed to apologize regardless of whether or not I am forgiven. I made apologies where they were necessary, but more steps had yet to be taken to ensure I was becoming a better person.

The second step was to start being nice and caring toward those of whom were going to be my new friends through everything in this new life I was constructing. The new friends I was going to cherish, love, and tell everything. It would be essential to praise them, celebrate their successes, and be happy for them if I wanted to achieve the maximum potential of new friendships I formed. This was far easier than I expected. I quickly learned it is much easier to point out good things about people and to be nice to them, than it is to search for flaws and be mean. I enjoyed the feeling I got from being nice and respectful , and it was not having a negative effect on others! was a changing person.

The last step is probably most difficult to succeed at in more aspects than just the current context of which I am speaking. This step involves looking on the brighter side of things. . . I still had a lot of the same terrible feelings about people and love. I learned if I could just look for the glint of light in the darkness, I would be able to make the best of life's inter-workings. I still struggle with this concept today, but having friends there for you is the greatest weapon I have to combat my bouts with sadness and anger.

Over the course of that year, I learned the most important lesson of my life to date. I will never let myself fall that far out of touch with reality again. I've matured and realized how much it hurt others when you are mean to them. I made a conscience effort to be a better, more considerate, and genial person. It paid off, and I have no idea where I would be if I had not made these crucial steps to evolve as a human being.

The author's comments:
This piece is very personal and is about a tough time I went through in my life.

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