It's hard for me to say, "I'm sorry."

First of all, I’d like to apologize for getting that Chicago song stuck in your head. If you don’t know what song I’m talking about, you are probably way younger than me.  And if you didn’t notice the irony with the title and the first sentence, I can’t help you.  : )

All snark aside, I have never understood the point of apologizing.  Seriously, what does it actually DO.  See, I’m more of a thinker than a feeler, more of a doer than a talker.  So, I don’t GET things that are done just to make someone feel better emotionally; and, honestly, I don’t think apologizing actually does that for most people.

Case in point: I present an actual news headline stolen from NBCnews.com.  “Family of 77-year-old dragged from car demand apology from Texas cop” If you don’t read the news, or watch the news, or give two whatevers about the news, here is a brief summary of the event.  A 77 year-old woman was stopped by a cop. She did not hand over her license immediately, and she refused to get out of the car.  The cop threatened to arrest her, and she told him to go ahead and do that.  He pulled her from her car.

Now, there are arguments on both sides regarding the cop’s and the lady’s behavior. I don’t care about any of that.  The thing that I am focused on is why the family is demanding an apology.  What exactly is that going to DO?  Will it turn back time (oops! Sorry for the Cher earworm.) and make the cop not yank their mom/grandma/aunt out of the car?  Will it erase the event from the woman’s mind?  Will it make the cop a kinder, more patient person in the future? Will it make the woman a better driver?  No. It will do NOTHING. Nada.

The whole situation reminds me of preschool.  Little Timmy throws a block at Billy.  Billy Cries. The teacher forces Timmy to apologize.  Timmy bites Billy later.  Seriously, apologies do nothing, especially when they are forced.

If the cop is really sorry, let him go to the old lady’s house and wash her car for her.  Let him learn from the experience.  Let him do anything except apologize. 

2 thoughts on “It's hard for me to say, "I'm sorry."

  1. I’m an alcoholic…sober almost 9 years. We learn many things in the 12 Steps of AA…mostly about ourselves. What we, (who, chances are, if we really are an alcoholic, have burnt mostly ALL our bridges) have learned about an “apology” or a contrite “I’m sorry”, is that it is lip service and nothing is seriously intended by it, other than to take a few minutes or so to gloss over someones hurt feelings. It’s why it never works…time after time.
    What DOES work is an AMENDS. To amend is to CHANGE. The Amendments to the Constitution changed the nature of the document. The same thing goes for human beings. If I CHANGE…my behavior changes. We make amends to those we have hurt. But, if nothing changes, nothing changes, as we say.

    1. Amen, Jay. That is what I am talking about. Forced apologies are meaningless. Truly changing and being a better person. Well, that is just golden. Kudos to you for making the change. I lost my step-brother to drug and alcohol addiction. It’s a tough battle.

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