I'm Sorry.... Dang!

aking1614 By aking1614, 29th Sep 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

Many people say "I'm sorry", when what they REALLY mean is "I'm sorry I got caught". If one is truly sorry, one should not be a repeat offender. Just my opinion...

Apologies, What Are They?

The dictionary defines an apology as an expression of regret for having done or said something wrong. The person issuing an apology is assumed to have remorse (that is to feel badly) about what they have done. They are generally, then, seeking forgiveness from the individual or individuals who they have wronged or offended. Hopefully, with the apology, the offender finds a way to atone or make amends.

Apologies – what they are…
1. A way to acknowledge (openly or privately) wrong-doing or wrong-speaking.
2. An expression of remorse or regret for an offense
3. A way to seek forgiveness.

Apologies – what they are NOT….
1. An excuse or justification to continue bad behavior
2. Words merely to be spoken without sincerity
3. A way to escape the consequences of your behavior

Some People Simply Have It All Wrong

See, some people have this all fouled up. They believe that when they mutter insincere apologies (meaning they are not really sorry, they are just sorry they got caught or called out), everything automatically should go back to status quo. They feel they are then free to make a repeat offense, apologize and repeat the pattern ad nauseam. The victim or offended person should not recall past offenses when considering the present situation. The damage caused should in no way be cumulative over time.

They also believe that if they apologize and are forgiven, there should be no consequences. I have been told recently that I had not truly forgiven someone because I still held them accountable for their actions. By forgive, what they really mean is that I should allow them to continue to abuse, misuse and take advantage of me. They should not be cut-off, dismissed or by any other means punished. They have apologized and I have accepted their apology (forgiven them) so that’s that, right?

The Flaw In Their Logic

Can you imagine all the murderers, rapists, child molesters, etc. that would be walking free at this moment if it were that simple? They could show up in court and apologize to the family, perhaps even shed a few crocodile tears. The family accepts the apology and offers forgiveness in order to have some closure in their lives. The perpetrator then walks away from the courthouse a free man/woman, out on the street to find their next victim.

No, the world doesn't work like that. There is punishment for bad behavior, forgiven or not. Even GOD doesn't work that way! He says he will forgive us is we repent, but we will still reap what we have sown. Call it karma, comeuppance or whatever you will; people don’t (or at least shouldn't) continue to get away with hurting others just because they've said “I’m sorry”, “I apologize”, or “Please forgive me”.

My Solution

We really need to come to grips with what it means to apologize. Maybe we need to make people elaborate more when they say they’re sorry. There should be some additional words inserted to provide some clarity. Perhaps something like this:

“I’m truly sorry for what I’ve done and I am prepared to fully accept whatever punishment or consequence that comes to me as a result of my actions.”

I think if more people were made to apologize this why rather than blurt out an insincere and meaningless “sorry” (that I got caught/that you found out), they could understand that an apology is not an out and that whoever accepts your apology is not obligated to put up with more mess from you.

©2013 – Andrea J. King-Shannon


Apology, Consequences, Excuses, Forgiveness, Justification, Remorse And Regret, Sincerity

Meet the author

author avatar aking1614
I am an engineer by trade, but a poet and songstress at heart. I started writing occasional articles online about five years ago, but poetry is still my first love.

find me on twitter@ashanpoetry

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
30th Sep 2013 (#)

Prove why they are caught would be the first way to start. No one is blameless but it is time to finally see proof on the table as the first time or a second time or whatever time could be just an act of coincidence only of course if it is an affair where it becomes an addiction and total lack of disrespect to the person they are with as they take their being for granted.
Personal experience.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
30th Sep 2013 (#)

Good Evening, ashan. Thanks for a thought provoking article.

I believe that I am fortunate to be in recovery. I made many poor choices and hurt many people in my addiction. A recovery oriented way of saying, "I am sorry" is to then qualifiy it with "What do you need me to do to correct the harm?"

Making amends and then not continuing with the behaviors that caused the intial harm is what allows a person to see our genuine apology. ~Marilyn

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author avatar aking1614
14th Oct 2013 (#)

Marilyn, so true. I've been dealing with someone who apologizes, reforms his behavior for a time (until I am no longer upset about an incident) then returns to bad behavior. Often it's the same behavior, although sometimes it's something worse. There seems to be no grasp of the concept that people get tired of going through the same cycle over and over and want to distance themselves from the offender to avoid more hurt.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
7th Dec 2013 (#)

The Bible tells us in the Lord's own prayer ...Forgive us our sins , as we forgive others their sins against us .... which I am sure we have all heard at some time ...Forgiveness releases us and also enables God to work in the life of the one we choose to forgive ... but it also speaks in Proverbs about avoiding bad company , as they can corrupt good morals ..Our part is to not allow a bitter, angry root to spring up in us , as it causes untold problems ...
We all have much to learn while in these mortal bodies ..
God bless you ashan
Stella ><

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author avatar aking1614
7th Dec 2013 (#)

Yes, Stella, forgiveness is key so that resentment doesn't fester and destroy us from the inside out. I believe I have forgiven, as I wish my offenders no harm and am not seeking vengeance. However, I choose not to keep putting myself in harm's way.

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