The Pride in Apologizing
Two simple words can be so difficult to say
Pride is a funny thing. Www.dictionary.com defines it as “a high or inordinate opinion of one's own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc.” These recent Jewish holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) have really been making me think about forgiveness.
I ask myself: Why is it so difficult to say “I’m sorry”? Well it’s because of pride, of course! No one likes to be on the giving end of an apology. It makes us feel vulnerable. The receiver has the power to accept or reject our offer, not to mention the other person has an immense influence over how other people view us based on whatever it is that we did wrong. This leaves us self-conscious and the other person superior.
At the same time, maybe we have too much pride. It is difficult for us to admit when we were wrong. In fact, maybe we don’t think we were wrong. There are times when we think that whatever we said was perfectly in line but the person we said it to or about is hurt by it. Even if we spoke in truth, how can we be proud of ourselves if we made someone else feel down? At times like this, it is important to put others before ourselves. Afterwords, it actually ends up feeding our pride. We made someone else’s day better.
So, as difficult as it may be, sometimes it really is best to just set aside our egos and say those two dreaded words, that one impossible-to-spit-out phrase. Just say “I’m sorry.”