We do very stupid things when we’re younger, not that we ever really stop. When I was in junior high school especially, I was, to one specific person, very mean. I said very hurtful things to him and played hateful pranks on him, and was 100% the type of bully that every human should strive to be above. I have no excuses for how I acted this way, except that I was unhappy as well, and was weak enough of a person to try to make myself feel better by channeling this into someone else. My behavior combined with the lack of regret I felt at the time is something I’m ashamed of to this day, and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to make sure I’m never that kind of person again. I found out yesterday that this person was killed in action while serving his country in Afghanistan, something I am and forever will be too scared and cowardly to do. I take a tiny amount of solace that, before the tragedy, I was at least once able to apologize to him, albeit in a drunken fashion.

Please, please, please, especially if you’re in elementary, junior-high or high school, or hell, whatever age you are, be kind to other human beings. We’re all in this together. Being negative to other people is a short-term solution. Someone else’s sadness is never ever worth however good about yourself it makes you feel, especially when it’s only temporary. Please, be kind to people. It’s a tiny bit of extra effort that saves you a lifetime of regret.

RIP Julian Chase, a braver and stronger man than I.