It’s a small word. But when really meant, it can melt the stoniest of hearts. It’s also a word that’s often thrown around carelessly, devaluing it and it’s intent. It’s also one of the toughest words to say. But why so?
Apology requires acceptance of our fault, intentional or otherwise. And that’s not an easy thing to do. It requires being logical, understanding the other person’s perspective, assume the possibility of the worst( we being wrong!) and then having enough guts to take up the responsibility.
I recall an incident from my childhood. I was around 8 or 9 years old then. The week of our story , I happened to be the ‘Monitor’ (a person appointed by the teachers to ‘manage’ the other kids) of my class. That day after returning home , I realized I hadn’t seen my Monitor badge for a while. After searching a lot I concluded to have lost it. Now losing the badge meant informing parents and in turn getting scolded as I would need to pay Rs 5/- as penalty charges. So in order to avoid it all, I requested my Thamma ( Paternal Grandma) to please give me the Rs 5/- and hide this from my parents.
What my Thamma did next surprised me. Here goes the conversation that left me surprised.
Thamma: I will give you the money, but why do you want to hide it from your parents ?
I: If I tell them, I will get scolded !
T: Why will they do that?
I: Because I ‘lost’ the badge Thamma!
T: Why do you think you lost it?
I: I probably kept it somewhere and now I don’t remember where. Or someone stole it:(
T: Well you can’t do much if someone steals it but u can keep it carefully at a safe place, correct?
I: Yes Thamma .
T: But this time your mistake was about being negligent. And if your parents scold you for that, accept it like you just did, and apologize. And try to be more careful in future. But don’t be scared of making mistakes or accepting them. Just plan to rectify them going forward.
A scolding or hiding would probably have put me on a defensive mode, or worse, led to stealth. I am glad I was encouraged in the right direction in a positive way.
As I see it, an apology is best accompanied by forgiveness, specially if the person is really at fault, as Dumbledore says , ‘People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong , than for being right!’ 😉
Today’s story has been authored by one of our very regular reader, an avid blogger herself. She shares with us an important life lesson imparted by her grandmother very early in her life. Forgiveness from others is as important as the courage to accept our mistakes.