“Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond a doubt that they are right.” Laurens Van der
“I am sorry,” are three little words that are very difficult to say. It is kind of a mystery because we are all so quick to say we know we are not always correct and we admit that we don’t always do the right thing. We have no problem acknowledging we have made mistakes in the past yet in the present it is a different story. It is as if we are a different person and unwilling to concede we were at fault. The earth may shatter if those three words are spoken. How many of us will admit we were partially to blame. We manage to avoid guilt. Maybe we are of the mindset that the other person needs to accept a piece of the fault. It allows us then, to admit our mistakes in the matter and save face. As sorry as a person might be, they will refuse to turn the other cheek if their foe will not take any culpability in the matter. Their apologies will be short lived and most likely they will be on the attack mode again.
One wonders if we have a sense of inferiority when we have trouble admitting we were wrong. I think it has to do with the fact that we all get hurt when in a disagreement with another. We all have our pride and may not really care who began or finished the altercation but we all want to save our pride. Our Dignity is more important to us than who is right or wrong. As a result we are trying to justify why we acted the way we did. We can’t admit total blame because we need to make the other person realize what they did to us.
It always turns around to our own hurts. We need to be justified in our poor behavior like we had a right to act with disregard because we were emotionally injured. Maybe we were totally having a bad day and this other person said or did something that irked us and caused us to remember past injuries or experiences of injuries. The volatile situation takes off. We do not want to appear vulnerable so we accuse attack and practically force another to take some responsibility. Because most of us are probably guilty of some blame in the matter, if we accept our share then both parties can walk away with their self-respect intact and absolved of any wrong-doing.
What is most refreshing and cleansing for the soul is to admit total guilt now and again when we have legitimately caused the problem. It is powerful and actually lifts one’s spirits above what they were. Total acceptance is like baring one’s soul to another and lowering oneself. Somehow in this process the opposite is attained. By lowering oneself to another, you become lifted and more regal. Magic happens because the other person is surprised, impressed and sometimes ends up admiring your courage.
I am not suggesting anyone do this without belief in their own faults and belief in taking the higher road. The results are usually a meltdown of the barriers we created and a more honest and open discussion. The facade is not needed. We do not have to hang on to inflated egos. There is no embarrassment to avoid. In such an atmosphere so much more is achieved. Being ourselves is easier, conflict is lessened, listening is heightened, and this reflective experience allows us to comprehend and work towards a positive solution. It is never easy to say we are sorry. It is almost impossible to disclose we were wrong. But when it happens we are rewarded with such a release of tension and anger. We frequently have no regrets we confessed we were sorry.
“Our civilization lacks humane feeling. We are humans who are insufficiently humane! We must realize that and seek to find a new spirit. We have lost the sight of this ideal because we are solely occupied with thoughts of men instead of remembering the thoughts of the spirit. By having a reverence for life we enter into a spiritual relation with the world, by practicing reverence for life we become good deep and alive.” Albert Schweitzer