Repair What Has Been Broken, While There’s Still Time

As one year comes to a close, and another is set to begin, I am reminded of the brevity of life, and the importance of having loving relationships.

Although I do gain energy from having time to reflect in solitude, no one is an island off to themselves, and one of the things that gives my life great meaning is having opportunities to include other people in it, (and to be included in the lives of others) in genuine and loving ways.

Sometimes, damage can be done in the process of living out our lives trying to include others, or to be included by others.

How on earth can that happen? How can we do damage while working to include others and be included by others?

Although I’m sure there are a variety of reasons each of us can come up with to answer those questions, I believe that we do damage to others, and can be damaged by others because of a lack of awareness of what’s taking place, as well as due to forgetting/abandoning the reasons, or the purpose, and value of the person/people/relationship(s) we might be involved with.

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

–Nelson Mandela

Working to repair the damage we’ve done, or to get healing from the damage that has been done to us is absolutely necessary, although it may not always be easy.

Our closest relationships can be the areas where we miss this understanding the most.

It’s true that some things are simply beyond our control. But there are some things, there is some damage that has been done in our relationships for which we can claim some responsibility.

When I think of the challenge to repair the damage that has been done, I sometimes think of this song.


One reason it comes to mind is because it encourages me to think about, and be appreciative of the different kinds of close and loving relationships I have, for the time that I have them, and reminds me to participate in them genuinely and fully.

Another reason this song comes to mind when I think of the challenge to repair damage that has been done is because the lyrics remind me to check myself and remember the reasons, purpose, and values of the people and relationships I have in times that I might forget.

Now I must acknowledge that the types of relationships mentioned in the song are not the only types of relationships that can exist. I also hold no assumptions that we all have and experience the kinds of relationships mentioned in the song in the same ways.

However the overarching theme that I draw from it is this:

If you are fortunate to have people in your life who you love, and who love you in return, take great care to cultivate those relationships in ways that demonstrate that. Take great care to make sure that your actions and words are consistent.

And when damage has been done, remember why you are there and what brought you there, and take actions to repair it.

Don’t wait too long. Use this moment as a chance to take actions to repair any damage you may have dealt. Use this moment as an opportunity to make sure the loved ones in your life know that you love them, while there’s still time.


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins, MSW



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Written by

I'm a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities. "Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian" is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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2 Responses

  1. njsmyth says:

    Happy New Year, Relando. I have nominated your blog for the Liebster Award. To check it out and accept please go to the following link:

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