" I apologize, believe me I do. I apologize, honest and true." - Anita Baker "I Apologize"
I apologize. Why are those two little words so hard to say? I mean we are all willing to admit that humans are imperfect creatures and we're definitely ok with pointing out when someone else is wrong; why then is it so hard to not only admit wrong doing but also attempt to make up for it. The dictionary defines apology as the admission of fault. For some reason in my 23 years on the earth this admission of fault is the one thing that has been hardest for the most people around me. I admit I in the past have had trouble with admitting I was wrong as well but I have also recognized that this was a flaw of mine.
Based on not-so-recent events that have happened in my life I have been pondering the idea of apologizing and the reasons for the apprehension. I was in this situation. A situation in which I did all that I thought was humanly possible for another person. This was not just a fly by night situation. It was a friendship, an 11-year old, tried and true friendship. I was doing things that I thought would be reciprocated if there was ever a need. But right in front of my eyes this so-called tried and true friendship ended when I made it clear to this friend that I could no longer support someone that was making choices not to attempt to support their self. In my mind a friendship, well a sho nuff friendship should never get to this point but it did. Fine. I was hurt that someone that I would have given my all to and did just took it and went on their merry way without even the least inkling to think about my well being but I could actually deal with that. The part that was just the coup d'etat was the fact that after all of that all I ever wanted from them was a simple apology; what I got was their whining about what I did to them.
So I ponder... Why would this person rather victimize themselves instead of offering a simple apology? Have we as a human race become so afraid of being wrong that we are willing to make ourselves victims to every situation just to avoid offering an apology? Do we see our mistakes as our imperfactions being made manifest? If so then why?
I'm in a leadership program that is all about personal and professional development. In this program we have trainings around Sexism, Homophobia, Racism, Community Development, etc. In this program we have also been trained in competitive versus collaborative behavior. We learned about the power of words and the idea that when we are intenional in the words that we say to one another that is the biggest step to better relationships. I completely agree with this school of thought. I think that we as human beings ought to make apologies not somthing that we attempt to avoid at all costs but as a reminder of how no matter how we may mess up we have a reprive.
So after a little bit of soul-searching I have decided to make this my public apology. I am willing to put myself out there and apologize for all of the things I've done to offend anyone this year. Anything that I may have done or that you think I may have done. From the small annoyances to the large transgressions that may have hurt you in the least bit. For the things I meant to do and the things that I didn't even realize I did. For the feelings I've hurt, the egos I've bruised, the smart comments I've made, the sarcasm I've spewed, the personal attacks I've forged, I'm aplogizing for it ALL! I am making it right today. In my ongoing mission to be the person I say that I am I needed to do this. I needed to do this as a way of letting go of 2008 and being ready to accept all of the things waiting for me in 2009. Today. I apologize. And it wasn't so bad.
Until the next song plays...