Admit it, if you had the opportunity to go back in time to smack your younger self in the face you would. It would be a dream come true, just to be able to look directly into the eyes of the little fifth grade version of yourself and then take a huge front hand swing right to the side of the face. I’m getting excited just thinking about it. The younger versions of ourselves were stupid and we did embarrassing things. By going back in time and leaving a big red mark on your own child like face, you would be doing your younger self a favor. The point is that we have all done things in are past that we are not proud of. What we now have to realize is that the opportunity to change what has already happened is not coming. What is done is done. We must grow from our mistakes, learn from the consequences of our actions, and mature into stronger individuals over time. The author, Joe Mackall, does an exceptional job expressing this in his short narration, “Words of My Youth.” Not only does he emphasize that children often make bad choices without having a reason for them, or an understanding of the consequences of those actions, but the fact that ignorance is never an excuse for any disheartening choice. Like Mackall, I constantly think about the choices I have made and wonder how much I have learned from my actions.
I would go to school every day, just like every other first grade child. I would participate in sports, pick on girls and say they had ‘cooties,’ as well as dream about what it would be like to be an adult. It was a simple time when all that really mattered was whether or not you could write your own name or not. But one boy in my class worried
about more than just being able to write his name. He worried about me. As...
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My parents never learned of my actions. They never had to look at a stranger and learn that their son was capable of tormenting a young boy at school or ruining the one thing another person was passionate about. They didn’t have the experience that Mackall’s mother had. They didn’t have to look at their child in absolute disgust and hear the words coming out their mouth. But that’s okay; I’ve done it for them. I’ve looked at myself in disgust. I’ve seen what I am capable of and have learned to change for the better from them. I have to change for the better. Because no matter how much I, or Mackall, or anyone on this planet wants to go back in time and smack their younger self in the face, they can’t. They have to deal with the person they once were and become the person they want to be. I have become the person I want to be. Does anyone else want to join me?
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