The words, “I’m sorry, ” are heard a lot these days. Then again they aren’t heard at all when they should be spoken.
There are two types of apologies. One is sincere, and the other is insincere. Simple. The type of apologies thrown around these days are insincere. There are celebrities who say or do something they shouldn’t do; and when they are called out for it and faced with the consequences, they quickly offer an apology. I really don’t think these celebrities are sorry at all. They are just sorry that they have been called out for whatever they said or did. If they are sincerely apologetic, why didn’t they stop and think before their actions and/or words? Some celebrities even have to audacity to call back their apologies. Really? These apologies remind me of children who are forced to apologize for something, and they don’t really mean it. The apology is totally meaningless.
What we need more of today are apologies that really mean something and are sincere.
I have been stabbed in the back by coworkers. One particular incident stands out to me. I was out of the classroom for a couple of days to attend a technology conference, and one coworker went behind my back to my principal and then smugly stood in my classroom while my principal corrected me the day I returned. First of all, this coworker and principal did not have nearly the teaching experience I had. Secondly, the principal had never taught in an elementary classroom. So I have no idea where these two got the impression that they could do my job better and tell me how to do it. Later that afternoon I told off that coworker and told her that she had no business telling me how to do my job. I told her that she certainly should not have gone to the principal. The following year she was being so sweetly nice. I guess she was trying to make up to me. She would have done better with a genuine apology. In all the times I have been stabbed in the back, there has never been an apology.
I have had various people mistreat and bad-mouth my children. There was never an apology. In fact, one person now praises my daughter, but she has never apologized for what she said.
I am human. I make mistakes. We all do. I’ve had parents of my students come to talk with me about something I did that was wrong. I swallowed my pride, called that student aside, and apologized. There were times when I apologized to the whole class if I felt that I had been unfair.
When I had a particularly bad day with one of my daughters when they were young, I would go to that child’s bedroom that night and tell them I’m sorry and that I really love them. (I just didn’t love what they did.)
In the seventies, the movie “Love Story” was released. The main line from that movie was, “Love means never having to say your sorry.” WRONG! You do need to say you’re sorry when you do something that hurts or offends.
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Matthew 5:23-24 KJV
Giving a sincere apology is necessary in order to be reconciled to others. Is it tough to say, “I’m sorry.”? You bet. What we need are more people mature enough and brave enough to offer an apology.
So–think about what you say and do before you say it or do it. Offer a heartfelt apology if you’ve hurt or offended someone.
I want to make sure I do my best to live my life without regrets.
One thought on “I’m Sorry”
How do you work with a coworker after that happens the next year?
Great writing. This spoke to me.