I know I have two more posts to go to finish the tale of my trip to Europe in the summer, but something else has been on my mind during the last few days. If the news is true, two sixteen-year-old boys started a fire that killed 42 people and destroyed wild life, buildings and some beautiful countryside.

In all likelihood, the boys didn’t intend to cause any damage at all. They just wanted to burn some rubbish. The fire was caused by their carelessness. Those boys will have to live the rest of their lives knowing what a catastrophe they caused. If they are decent people, the pain will worsen as they mature.

Most of us manage to get through childhood without causing such a catastrophe, without committing any crime at all. But we might well have done things in childhood that we’re sorry for afterwards – things that had consequences that, as children, we couldn’t envisage.

The things I’m thinking of are my decisions to hide my feelings and, later, to keep quiet. I harmed only myself, but I wish I hadn’t.

Are you sorry about any of your childhood actions?

Advertisements