Sunday, December 3, 2006

My Bad

I read this book yesterday. The title is: My Bad: 25 Years of Public Apologies and the Appalling Behavior That Inspired Them. It was interesting, sad and humorous.

Here are two of them (If you want to know what inspired the apologies you'll have to read the book.)

"I think what I did was stupid. I hope it was temporary stupidity and not terminal."
Ted Simonson

"If in my low moments in word, deed, or attitude, through some error of temper, taste, or tone, I have caused anyone discomfort, created pain, or revived someone's fears, that was not my truest self. If there were occasions when my grape turned into a raisin and my joy bell lost its resonance, please forgive me. Charge it to my head, so limited in its finitude, not to my heart, which is boundless in its love for the entire human family."
Jesse Jackson

How's that for opposites?

I get hung up with apologies myself. I feel the need to correct the bad behavior before I say I'm sorry. The problem with that, is many times I forget and other times the correction is long term and in either case an apology is never given or way too late. If you ask my wife, Wendy, she would probably tell you I never apologize. I don't think that is completely accurate but I do think it shows that my system doesn't work.

What do you think? Should the words "I'm sorry" be said right away or does that seem a cheap way to get off the hook? What if you are not sure you are sorry?

What works or doesn't work for you?

Here is a World Magazine review of the book: Apologizing in public

Another column in World covers the issue of forgiveness and how difficult the real thing can be: The thing we don't do

Hoping for help.


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