• Posted: September 16, 2009 and this post was last modified April 3, 2011.

It is a common reaction when someone loses someone close to them that they begin to feel guilty. Whether they believe they could have done something to prevent the loss or that they were the direct cause of the loss, the feeling of guilt is often a strong reaction that few like to deal with. Sometimes the guilt overwhelms us and is so powerful to the point that we cannot conduct our day to day activities without some sort of outlet. We keep replaying the past in our head like a scout trying to figure out what went wrong with his team; trying to figure out what could have been made better.

Why do we have to wait until it’s too late though? The old adage that hindsight is 20/20 is a cop-out; if we live with the intent of bettering our future and those around us, how can we live in regret? Sure, we can convince ourselves that we could always do better, but realistically, could we? Sure, there are those that lose loved ones where there is seemingly no reason to do so, but does that mean that we did all we could do? It is easy to throw abuse on the abuser and relieve ourselves of all responsibility just as it is easy to feel so guilty as to almost take the full responsibility of the tragedy.

People respond to tragedy differently. People accept or reject responsibility differently. People are different.

To assume that we can do one thing the same way all the time and save our kids and loved ones from the idea of suicide is therefor ludicrous. To assume that love, being the opposite of hate, will solve everything is absurd. If we could have the utopia we would like to guilt ourselves into having, we would have it. But we do not live alone in this world and we cannot control others; no matter what we do today to prevent the hindsight of tomorrow, we will always feel guilt over a loss.

But does that mean we should not be concerned about trying to make a difference? No, not at all. If even the smallest of efforts from you can change someone else’s life, why wouldn’t you try? Why not take the risk? The prize is so much greater.

By now your head is probably spinning in circles from the back and forths, but if you listen carefully, you’ll get the message: do.

Much guilt is often brought about by people thinking they could have done something or done more just to prevent their tragic loss. They feel that their actions could have made a difference.

If you want your friends, family, and loved ones to deal with a bully, teach them to laugh. If you want them to feel better about themselves, teach them to open their eyes. If you want them to know they are loved, show them.

We cannot save everyone. We can show them all the love in the world and for whatever reason, the bully will always have the upper hand. But if we try to help them and try to stop the bully, perhaps we can stop a tragedy before it occurs.

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