My favorite essay was by Kara Gebhart Uhl, titled “A Lesson I Hold Dear”. It is about her high school romance with a boy who loved her, named Joe. Joe had professed his love to Kara, however she did not feel it was mutual, therefore she chose to be honest over kind, and tell him she did not love him. In the following years throughout college, Joe would call and contact Kara, who would avoid him and leave curt voicemail replies back. Kara was stunned when Joe committed suicide, after his struggle with bipolar disorder. Kara was also shocked that Joe had written a few lines about her in his suicide note. After much soul searching, Kara realised that it is possible to be both kind and honest. In his note, Joe mentions “How people should be . . . wonderful and I’m glad I had the time with her—still I have a wonderful feeling inside.” Kara interprets this as Joe’s last message of both kindness and honesty, and how Joe always saw Kara’s rejection as a loving act instead of a cruel one.
This story is very touching to me, and shows how short life truly is. There are things you can never take back, and just like a bullet, words can leave a person wounded as well. Reading this essay made me feel that we should be careful and aware of our actions, and how they might impact others.