It’s not about self-improvement, it’s about acceptance.
I am often imperfect.
I sometimes make mistakes.
I can be judgemental and cruel.
I try to do the best I can and still fuck up.
I know I can do better if I have the right attitude.
Sorry is not enough ~ sometimes you have to change.
What is a real and genuine apology? It’s an acknowledgement and acceptance that one has done something wrong. An apology is also an acceptance and acknowledgement of responsibility for the hurt one has caused, and a pledge to change one’s ways in the future. A real and genuine apology is an expression of guilt, regret, remorse, and a pledge to try harder to do better in the future. A real and genuine apology is not merely a platitude in order to placate the aggrieved party.
Feeling guilty is not a substitute for loving somebody; it is only an indicator that you have failed to love somebody. ~ Clifford Cohen.
Sometimes just saying that you’re sorry will not do. Ofttimes an apology is only an empty gesture made to ‘keep the peace’. Sometimes the things that we do and say, the books we read, the movies we like, the people we listen to, sometimes these things reveal a deeper truth and our glib apologies are shown for the fatuous banalities they so often are. An oft quoted line from John Wayne movies is; ‘Never apologise, mister, it’s a sign of weakness…’ A greater truth would have been if his character had said; ‘Never apologise, mister, it’s meaningless…’
If we are truly dedicated to the truth, and if we have good inside us, then we should never need to apologise, because we will never do anything so bad that we need to say ‘sorry…’ However, we Englishmen are prone to apologise, to say sorry all the time. If you tread on my toe, I will naturally say sorry. If you barge into me because you’re not looking where you’re going, I will naturally say sorry. Any English Gentleman of my generation has been brought up to be polite, to always show exemplary manners, to show women and girls the utmost respect. To mind one’s language, never swear in front of women and children, to be careful of the topics we discuss for fear of giving offence. And, an Englishman should never, ever, talk about; God, women we have ‘known’, how much money we make, and politics ~ not even with our closest friends. Englishmen regard politicians with utter contempt, and we extend that contempt to anyone who dares to lecture us on religion, or political matters, or how to make money, or how to be successful with women, or what the English do ‘wrong’.
A side effect of the English ideal of ‘Good Manners’ is that we look askance at most American men, and would rather not include any boorish American men in our circle of friends. The average Englishman doesn’t think the average American guy is a ‘good person’. Sometimes this means that even a cool, calm, patiently understanding Englishman will get angry with Americans. Recently we Englishmen have been quite annoyed / furious at Clinton, (both of them), Obama, Trump, Meryl Streep, and anyone who dares to lecture us about terrorism on English soil. Conversely, of English politicians we like Boris Johnson, (whom most Americans dislike intensely).
In order to rise from its own ashes, a phoenix must first burn. ~ Octavia E. Butler.
If an Englishman does get angry, then usually, after a while, his innate ‘good common-sense’ returns like a phoenix rising from the ashes, and he will attempt to rebuild burned bridges, to forgive and forget, to understand and accept. Disagreeing with the things people say, and then getting angry about it, is not the mark of a good man. There is a saying; ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the Death your right to say it…’ Voltaire I think. I prefer the pithier and more honest; ‘You’re right, but I don’t agree…’ We may have to dig deep, but a real English Gentleman will eventually find the fountain of good within himself.
Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up if thou wilt ever dig. ~ Marcus Aurelius
I may like, care about, and respect some people in spite of their opinions, the things they do, the things they have done, and the things they are planning to do ~ even if I am hurt or profoundly disagree with their opinions and actions. After all, I cannot change what happens to me, I can only change how I respond and react. It matters not one iota whether another person ever feels the need to apologise when they have clearly been wrong and hurtful ~ after all, one should never apologise, it’s meaningless.
If you have been following this blog, then you will know that from tome to time my opinions have gone though aggressive, arrogant, certain, condescending, contemptuous, disdainful…, just fill in the rest of the alphabet and it’s all there.
This is the very last apology I will ever make. For everything bad that has gone before I am sorry. I apologise to the world, in public. Especially I apologise to America.
The fact that I have the IQ of a rocket scientist, the smarts of Captain Kirk, and the charm of a kitten forgives nothing.
So, I’m a reformed axe murderer. How will that impress you? Don’t run away from me.
You will have to wait until tomorrow to see what Mr. Hyde becomes when love has taken hold of his heart.
Deep in my soul I am a changed man.
A few days ago I wrote a post entitled What’s in a Name? In this post I was quite rude and dismissive of all things America and Americans.
I unreservedly apologise for most of the content of this post. I would also like to say that I like America, I like most Americans, and I absolutely love some Americans. As you can see I also like the Ford Mmustang and road trips in California.
If you think this is a sudden volte face, then maybe you should also read a post I also wrote quite recently Sometimes I Act Insane.
There is no excuse for the things I wrote in my post criticising America and Americans. However, there was a reason for my negativity ~ if I feel threatened I act insane.
Luckily I think I have found a way to lay the deep, dark, demons created by my chronic fear of abandonment ~ go back in time and put things right. Perhaps read another of my recent posts Letter to Myself ~ aged four and threequarters. I never believed this kind of self-help magic worked, in fact I was a complete sceptic ~ but now I do believe some of the things I have been told, and the world seems a better place.
Please accept my sincere apology, and assurance that I won’t make this kind of stupid, nasty, vicious mistake again.
The English are continually apologising, saying ‘sorry’ to one another… Accidentally bump into someone, step on their toes, say sorry. If someone accidentally bumps into you, also say sorry. More often than not both people in some kind of unintended contact will say sorry. ‘I’m sorry I trod on your toe…’ ‘I’m sorry it’s raining outside…’ ‘I’m sorry that 96 people died because of our criminal incompetence…’
Oh it seems to me, that sorry seems to be the hardest word. ~ Elton John
You know what? It’s pointless. Sorry is not the hardest word. Saying sorry is easy. Saying sorry doesn’t make things better. Even being sorry for the wrongs you’ve done doesn’t make things better. All a mere apology does is show that you are not motivated enough, not strong enough, not man enough, to actually make things better. An apology by itself is a weak and meaningless thing.
If you have done wrong, and you are truly sorry for the wrongs you have done, don’t just say sorry, do something about it. A real man tries to right the wrongs he has done, no matter what it costs him. Even if it results in his own destruction, a man should atone for his sins and make things right.
It is no mistake that 12 step recovery programmes use these words;
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
It turns out that I need to atone for some wrongs I have done. I need to make my amends. I need to put things right, quietly, without making a fuss, when the time is right and the opportunities come my way.
We all make mistakes. Just saying sorry is never going to be enough to restore true balance in this life.
Apologising does not always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.
Never ruin an apology with an excuse. ~ Benjamin Franklin
An apology is the superglue of life, it can fix just about anything. ~ Lynn Johnstone
Right actions in the future are the best apologies for bad actions in the past. ~ Tryon Edwards
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down and still somehow, it’s cloud illusions I recall, I really don’t know clouds at all. Joni Mitchell
Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints of tomorrow with prophetic ray. ~ Lord Byron
pictures by jack collier