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A Writer's Den: I’m Sorry

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I’m Sorry

Whatever Happened to Those Simple Words We Learned During Childhood?

From the moment children understand the difference between right and wrong, parents begin teaching them to say the words “I’m sorry.” Whether children are apologizing for refusing to share a toy, pushing on the playground, or having a total meltdown in the middle of the grocery store, when it’s all said and done, parents love to hear those magic words “I’m sorry mommy” and “I’m sorry daddy.”

Do We Require More of Our Children Than We Require of Ourselves?
My 3 year old has pretty much perfected the art of apologizing. She will even add in the occasional tear, and bat her beautiful brown eyes, all in hopes of us forgetting whatever she’s done wrong. The other day when she was apologizing for snatching a toy from her little sister, I suddenly wondered at what point it became okay for parents to require more from our children than we require of ourselves. Honestly, when was the last time you said the words “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” without being forced to or trying to wiggle your way out of it?

Why is it so Hard For Adults to Apologize?
We say hurtful things. We break promises. We even let each other down. And when it’s all said and done, many of us would rather hide out for a couple of months or years hoping our transgressions will be forgotten, or simply ignore the fact that we’ve made a mistake and dwell on the other person’s actions. I often wonder would the world be a better place if adults would say “I’m sorry” or “I apologize” more often. Maybe I’m a little naïve, and those simple words we learned as children don’t mean anything as we get older. However, if I had to choose, I would most certainly choose the world our children live in. A world where I can shed a tear and bat my beautiful brown eyes while saying the words I’m sorry to the person I’ve hurt.

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