I went to a very small school of around a 100 kids -- I believe my class had just 24 students. I was rock bottom as far as popularity went -- being bullied all the time during recess and in class. (surprisingly not for my being gay; more likely that I was brown and didn't act 'american'. My behavior in class was too good perhaps). I had a very low self-esteem and thought that 'cool' kids were actually privileged to bully 'uncool' ones, and I was just 'uncool'. And I really believed it. I wished so badly I was a cool kid too.
Well, in 5th grade, a new kid showed up, and to my delight, he ended up taking my place as 'most uncool kid'. Even though hate still kept coming my way, he got a little more; and it was such a relief to be able to enjoy recess every now and then without being bullied.
Anyway, there came a day that I would never forget. During recess, I saw that poor kid getting totally picked on by the other guys, and he was just there taking it (what else could he do?). Eventually, the bullies left the scene laughing. Still thinking that 'cool' kids were 'privileged' to bully I went up to him. As I approached I noticed a faint smile forming on his innocent face. I looked right into his eyes and committed the biggest sin of my life:
I told him how ugly he was. And that his ugliness matched his mental retarded-ness.
I saw, in his face, the instant his spirit was torn apart. He was really hurt---more so than when the other bullies made fun of him. Actually much more so.
I found absolutely no gratification in what I had just done. I was totally appalled at what I had done; I was overcome with shame, and a deep sense of guilt.
A few seconds later, he broke eye contact with me, looked down to the ground, and walked away. And I just stood there in shame. The rest of the day was horrible-- I couldn't pay attention in class after that. I just kept wondering to myself why I did what I did. I felt so guilty, that after recess, I avoided eye contact with him.
When I got home, I threw myself on my bed. Eventually my thoughts had matured and I truly understood what I had done. I had backstabbed him.
This is a memory that has been ingrained my brain. Even 16 years later I remember in great detail the events of that day, and how it all unfolded. It still makes me incredibly uncomfortable every time I recall it.
I learned a life long lesson. And that was the first and the last time I would gratuitously offend someone like that.