Sometimes you can't put it right

In Week 39 of The Great Wake Up our challenge was to imagine going back to a mistake in our past, and sorting it out.

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I have been putting off this challenge...

As soon as I read it, the mistakes came flooding back, wrenching my heart all over again. Although they're not things that would register with some people, over the course of my life there have been a few instances when, through ignorance or error (never, never with intent) I have inadvertently harmed an animal. Like a squirrel who ran out in front of my car and I couldn't avoid him. And the problem is, I can't put it right...

I hesitated to share this, because it probably sounds weird to some people that I even remember, and offends others that it's the times I mistakenly harmed an animal that stand out and pain me, rather than mistakes I may have made with people (which live quietly in my past and don't even come to mind when I search for them). So I found myself wondering why that may be.

The answer, I decided, is when I've harmed an animal I can't put it right. When you hurt a person, you can apologise, which is something I've always tried to do. You can't explain or apologise to an animal - they (or their families) don't understand. There is no atonement and no forgiveness.

I guess this kind of makes the point of the experiment around the power of being able to put things right.


cat lover, wife, designer, analyst (the spreadsheet kind...), friend, sister, daughter, writer, consultant, lover of beauty...


Go to the profile of Jacqui
about 5 years ago
I completely understand this. I have been vegetarian since I was 14 because I feel we have a responsibility towards those more vulnerable. I think your remorse shows real respect for all living creatures. Which is what we should all do!
Go to the profile of Sarah-Kate Goodwin
about 5 years ago
If more people thought like you Vanessa the world would be a better place. I would leave any feelings of regret or guilt for the animal abusers out there and instantly forgive yourself if you haven't already. xxxx
Go to the profile of Fiona Dolben
about 5 years ago
This just makes me want to meet you even more :0) if everyone was like you as Sarah-Kate says it would be a better world for us all. x
Go to the profile of Chris Baréz-Brown
about 5 years ago
Great last line...C x
Go to the profile of Vanessa
about 5 years ago
Thanks, everyone! It's amazing to have such a supportive group, especially when feeling a bit vulnerable! Vx