“The Guilt that Haunts Me”

Share a time when you were overcome with guilt. What were the circumstances? How did you overcome your guilt?


On a warm mid-July evening, I was enjoying an afternoon cookout with my neighbor George on his deck when he began crying.

He returned from scolding his 12-year-old son who admitted to spreading saran wrap on the bowl of the toilet in the guest bathroom. One of the female guests who attended the cookout discovered the prank and was furious with her soiled clothing.

Now, George was the disciplining parent in the family, and he hated the job.

George never understood how his son developed the idea of the prank.

As I consoled George, I also felt guilty since Kevin possibly overheard me talking with one of the guests about how I did such a prank in college.

The cookout was going so well and I forgot to explain to George what caused Kevin to perform the prank. As the years passed, I thought of telling George but, I knew one day in the future I would clear my conscience.

It was during Kevin’s college graduation dinner with family and friends gathered when I decided to clear my conscience and explained how Kevin may have gather the idea of the toilet bowl prank.

Once I finished, everyone laughed, and my conscience cleared.

However, once the laughter died down, Kevin’s sister then a high school senior admitted she placed the saran wrap over the toilet bowl. She developed the idea when she heard me telling the tale at the cookout.

We all stood in shock, especially Kevin, who lost his video game privileges for a month.

I realized my guilty conscience was better than no conscience at all.

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