What is an apology really worth?

This week we got an apology from Obama for his lying Obama lying about Obamacareabout his abomination called the ACA or Obamacare. In an indirect way, he apologized for lying to the American people about certain assurances that he had given on the campaign trail and beyond. So what is an apology really worth?

Sorry, Mrs. Lincoln, that I shot your husband, but how was the play? Sorry, Celine, that I didn’t do more to help you and your children. I’m so sorry, Mary, that I cheated on you, and it will never happen again.

What do these apologies do to salve a wound, to create well-being, to create true forgiveness? As with most questions, the answer is: it depends.

It depends on the sincerity of the speaker offering up the apology. It depends on the subject matter. It depends on the offer of retribution or penance. It depends on the amount of damage done. It depends on the harmed person’s willingness to accept the apology.

In mediation, an apology can be the turning point in a conflict. Sometimes that is all one party needs to hear. And that is the, “I’m sorry”. I have seen one party sincerely apologize for a real or perceived wrong-doing on their part, and the other party accepting the apology. With that, either the damages sought, or the damage amount offered, is either agreed upon, or dropped entirely. But, the apology must be heart-felt, and the harmed party must accept the apology at a sincere level.

An apology then, must be honestly offered, and must be honestly accepted to have true meaning.

Going back to the first example in this post. Was Obama’s offer both honestly offered and honestly accepted? I would say, no, it wasn’t. I would put forth that it was not honestly offered, because nothing was offered by way of retribution or penance, given the subject matter and degree of the offense. Was his apology honestly accepted? I don’t know the answer to that for sure, but I know that I have not accepted his apology, because I do not feel it was honestly given.

In personal matters, ownership of a mistake goes a long way. An apology honestly given, can be the Band-Aid, that can start the healing process. That is what an apology is really worth.

Photo credit: unknown

Add a Facebook Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post Navigation