In elementary school, there was always this boy just determined to make my life miserable.
Since I was smaller than most of the other children, I was an easy target.
Every day without fail, he would hunt me down and call me names, sometimes stealing my lunch money. This crushed my young self-esteem, and made me question myself for years afterwards. I regret not knocking him down to teach him a lesson, but I ended up moving a little farther away and going to a different school. Later on, I had received my degree for HVAC professionals, and started repairing AC units soon after. As fate would have it, I ended up walking down a busy city street when I saw a beaten-up looking man with the stereotypical cup, begging for change. I gave a few coins to him, but did a double take when I realized the face I was staring at was my childhood bully. At first, I felt nothing but pure anger course through my veins, I wanted to make him suffer as long as he made me suffer. But then a wave of pity came over me, this man looked obviously beat up and defeated. I reconsidered my actions. I decided the past is the past, and asked the man if he would like a job. He accepted the HVAC technician position with extreme gratitude. He turned out to be a great cooling workman, and I didn’t reveal my identity until later. He apologized for the past, and explained that he was raised by abusive parents, and that beating up some kid made him feel like he had some control over his life. He then went to drugs, and it spiraled downhill from there. While his past did not excuse him, I finally understood now.