Friday, July 20, 2012

Little Moments

I was in college. It was my Freshman year, my first finals week. A beautiful day. And I was just walking across campus. I noticed a girl, another student, sitting on bench, hunched over. I could only see the sides of her face. Her eyes, nose, mouth were covered by her hands. Her elbows were on her knees. Her shoulders were shaking. These huge sobs were emanating from her body. She was obviously beyond upset about something.

I watched her as a walked closer, debating what to do. Should I leave her alone? Should I stop and offer help? Should I kneel in front of her? Should I sit next to her? Should I leave her alone? Does she want to be be invisible? Is she asking for help by being in such a public place? What should I do?

In the end, as I approached her, I just kept walking. Something stopped me from offering her a simple kindness. Something stopped me from doing anything but walk. My indecision regarding what to do, decided for me that I would do nothing.

To this day I think about that girl. What had happened to leave her so distressed - and in such a public place? Had she failed a final? Did a boyfriend break up with her? Had someone passed away? Was there some kind of family issue? Why was she alone? Where were her friends? How long did she sit there? Did anyone else offer her comfort?

I feel sad that I didn't let her know I saw her at least, that she wasn't invisible. I think I feared she would rebuff me in some way, so I left her alone. Or that perhaps she wanted to be left alone. But the thing is I'll never really know.

But here is what I suspect, even if she had rebuffed me, I don't think I would still be thinking about it, would still be regretting the (non) incident. I'd probably have shrugged it off and it'd be long forgotten. Maybe she would have told me to leave her the eff alone. But at least I'd know. At least I wouldn't regret.


Today's Lesson: Often in life, the things we most often regret are the things we don't do.

5 comments:

Patience said...

Thanks for sharing this. I have several moments like this that live on in my mind and seem to pop up at random moments. Glad I am not the only one...

Court said...

Hi from ICLW. Amen to your last remark in your post. I try to live with no regrets. I always try to say what I feel and talk to those I feel led to. Each day, someone is put in my path that is also facing a fertility struggle.
I look forward to reading more of your blog.

Glitterandrainbows said...

I agree that it is often the moments where we don't do anything that we regret. I have certainly had some moments like that. This is a good post to remind us to make an effort to reach out to people, even if we think they might reject us or if we feel uncomfortable.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my blog. Happy ICLW.

waitingtoexpand said...

Hello from ICLW. What you say is so true...in fact, ALL of my life regrets have been caused by what I didn't do. I'm trying to do better and be braver and take action, even if it ends with upsetting, angering, or annoying somebody...but thank you for the reminder. I needed it!

Alex said...

So very true! What a great lesson.