I’m hungry, and it’s not my lunch time. So I will waste the next precious 20 minutes by writing a blog instead.
I’ve been thinking about apologies lately: what they are, what they should mean, and how they should act. When you give someone an apology, it should always be handled with care. There are so many reasons you may need to share an apology, none of them simple. If you have done wrong, if you have created a problem, or simply if someone has gone through a hardship – an apology should be the first response. Regardless of the reason, there is never a situation that an apology should be taken lightly. I’ve been thinking of them less like a word that you say, less like an
action that you take, but more like an object that you give.
An apology is not a ball, to be thrown at someone in anger. “Fine, I’m sorry!”
An apology is not a wall, a shield to hold in front of you. “I said I’m sorry already, now stop!”
An apology is not leverage or a tool to get what you want. “I’m sorry that I hurt you, but I need you to do this.”
An apology is not a weapon with which you may cause damage. “I’m sorry I ever even met you!”
An apology, I think, is like water. Water held gently in your cupped hands, that you hold out calmly in front of you – an offering. You don’t want to let it slip through your fingers… you want the entire apology to be received whole. If you are too quick, too clumsy, the apology will wash away in your carelessness. If you throw it out in front of you, it will never reach the hurt or the sorrow it is to heal – the drops will simply fall to the ground.
But if you quietly pour this apology, hands cupped and heart open, into the hands of the one for whom it is destined, they will receive your gift of sorrow. It will slake their thirst of anger, cool the heat of pain. Your good intention will right any wrong, and be accepted gratefully.
The receiver of any apology should be duly as gracious, in the same calm manner. Not abrupt, nor demanding, but forgiving. When given that cool, clear apology we should cup our hands, and accept with that same open heart, this gift that we so very much need.
We all wish someone would give us an apology when they have done us wrong, we’ve all received an apology when something hasn’t gone right. Wouldn’t it be nice if those liquid apologies were always given and taken as such?