Because I forgot about a really big one.
I knew there was another thing I did when I was younger that I regret. But I just couldn’t think of it when I rhymed off that list on Monday. Well, now I have remembered this one. And let me tell you, this one is a doozy. This is one that is a perfect example that what you say and do can have a greater impact on people than you think.
The story here is that when I was in university, I met many different people. And there were these two people, one a quite-religious Catholic and one an atheist. Needless to say, they did not get along too well. Now, the Catholic was not one to try to force her faith on others. Her faith was her own, and if you didn’t think the same way, then you’re free to hold your own opinions on the matter. She would try to get along with you. On the other hand, the atheist was more or less one of those types who thought his way was right and those who had contrary views were wrong. I’m sure you already know where this is going. So this had been going on for a long time before it came to a head when the Catholic basically stormed out of a meeting, thoroughly ticked at what she had been enduring from the atheist for a long time. Now, since I was better friends with the Catholic, I should have gotten up from the meeting and chased her down. I should have, were I not paralyzed into inaction. I didn’t know what to do. So I sat there and finished the meeting. As it turns out, she may have come back if I had chased her down. She wanted support and was receiving none. And so we lost her from our group. And for what? Because we were a bunch of people who couldn’t be respectful of her choice of religion. Because we weren’t able to tell the atheist to shut up. Because we didn’t see the hurt our talk was creating. Basically, we were stupid and let one person drive away a valuable member because we couldn’t stand up to that one person. Nor reach out in a timely manner to the hurt party.
Wow, writing this makes was hard. Mainly because it’s easier to explain verbally than it is textually.
But the crux of this is I regret being blind and not doing what I could to give her the support she needed, by both trying to talk her out of leaving and telling the atheist to can it.