When I was around eight years old, I went to play mini-golf with a friend.

Everything was going well
Until
Like a lot of eight-year-olds,
I was in my own little world,
Not paying attention to anyone around me.

Inside my own head I was a professional golfer,
The most amazing golfer.
I took my time, attempting to set up the perfect shot.
Then suddenly swung my club back full-force
And clobbered my friend in the face.

It took me a few seconds to realize what had happened.

When I looked up, I saw my friend’s mom with my friend in her arms, running away towards the exit.
And I stood there.

I felt terrible.
I still feel bad about that day.

I can’t remember ever really hanging out with that particular friend again.
I guess sending her to the emergency room was kinda the end of our young friendship.

Looking back at events like this day,
I cannot help but to think about friendships and how we intentionally and unintentionally hurt other people.
Not necessarily with golf clubs,
But with words and careless actions.

And often we are left standing there staring at the one we hurt,
Possibly even seeing the pain in their eyes.
Pain that you caused by your carelessness.
Words you cannot unsay are working their way into the hearts of someone we care about.

And you stand there.
While they feel the weight of the hurt.

I do wish I could have had a do-over that day with my friend.
I honestly do.
I cannot have a do-over for that one day.
Because life isn’t like that.
What can I learn from that one day?

Learn from mistakes.
Learn to be careful
Think before you speak,
Consider the consequences before you act.
Apologize when you mess up.

Because we all mess up.

Above all, treat others like you would want to be treated.

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