“An apology? Bah! Disgusting! Cowardly! Beneath the dignity of any gentlemen, however wrong he might be.” ~Steve Martin~
When was the last time you said a gut-wrenching “I’m sorry,” and really meant to make things right?
Hey, I’m not talking about spilling the coffee at a Starbucks and getting a wet tissue to dab over the stain you caused on your neighbor’s suit or dress.
Nor am I discussing the “Excuse me,” you utter while taking a train seat from a little, old lady because you’ve had a tough day.
No, I don’t mean the muffled “Sorry, honey,” when you come tiptoeing through the door at 11pm without having bothered to call hours earlier to tell your wife to keep the sirloin steak in the freezer.
Many people never bother to grow up. When you were a grade-schooler and the dog got out of the house by mistake, you may have said with favorable effect, “I didn’t mean it, Mommy. I’m sorry.” And Mom – as Mom’s are hired to do – gave you some slack.
But then Mom and Dad forgot to tell you that “I’m sorry” is just another lame excuse to wiggle out of taking responsibility or, worse yet, pass the blame on to someone else unjustly.
If you take this strategy into adulthood, no doubt you will run into huge obstacles and maybe even spend some jail time.
Nothing – absolutely nothing – happens to you or through you because you are blameless. And nothing – absolutely nothing – can be patched over without your active participation in finding resolution.
The “I’m sorry” lameness will often lead others to look at you with disdain, disgust and revenge in their eyes.
Though this may seem unfair, the bitter truth is that people who take responsibility and look for remedies as a matter of course find infinitely fewer obstacles up the mountain to success.
So the next time you want to shrug and shirk when something bad happens in your presence, choose instead to pay for the cleaning, the repair, or the spiritual or physical damage with gut-wrenching (and sometimes costly) action.
A principled life allows you to never have to look over your shoulder or make excuses when adversity strikes. It’s the first step in becoming a leader and a respected member of every circle you choose to join.
I’m sorry. It was my fault. How do I make it right?
This is a mantra you can bank on.