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I Will Not Apologize: The Refusal That Hurts Us as Much as Them

hurt pics, hurt pictures, hurt photos, hurt images

I Will Not Apologize: The Refusal That Hurts Us as Much as Them

We can’t get through life without letting someone down.
Somewhere, at some time, we’re going to fail someone.

In a tired, dried up moment.
When we’re not at our best or sanest.
In the whirlwind rush of errands and to-dos,
Or when our workload expands to consume every last minute.

Whether we mean to or not,
We’re going to fail people in some of the same ways we have been failed.
We’re going to wound others similarly to how we ourselves have been wounded.

We might not set out to,
Or intend to,
It might even happen by circumstance,
Through being mis-perceived,
Through no conscious move on our part.

After all, we’re all constantly clanging into each other.
Bumping and elbowing and, sometimes accidentally, crowding each other out.
Fumbling for approval, contentment, outcomes we deem to be “right”.

But the beautiful thing is…
Every hurt opens the door for response.
Every action provides a platform for a reaction.

When we become aware someone has experienced hurt at our hand,
We have a choice.

To apologize . . . or not.

To defend,
To lash out,
To criticize their logic,
To retaliate with our own list of accusations.

Or to seek to understand feelings that resulted, regardless of our intentions.
To hear pain and voice regret for even unknowingly contributing to the negativity internalized.
To stress we care, to clarify what was intended, to demonstrate our commitment to avoid even accidentally wielding further harm in the future.

But what if we get entrenched in our need to be exonerated or right?
If we claim it’s impossible that we–regardless of how many years we live–could ever do anything for which an apology would be appropriate?
What if our every instinct is to dig in our heals and resolutely proclaim,

I Will Not Apologize?

If we choose to balk, to shut down, to walk away,
To dismiss the emotions they struggle through,
We appear to confirm our lack of concern for their well-being.
To insist those who claim hurt must be grossly mistaken.
To assert our need to be right and perfect is more important than our friends, our children, our parents, our peers.

When we refuse to apologize, it hurts us as much as it hurts them.
It means we consciously choose to be small people, people who withhold care or refuse to contribute to healing.
That we sacrifice the respect of those who observe our stingy response.
That our relational credibility suffers.

It means we go to sleep at night knowing we have become people who prefer hurt over healing.

Anyone who believes they live without scathing others is denying the makeup of humans.
But those who own up, who can humbly absorb pain and seek to make peace? They will be the heroes even in the hurt.

So we are wise to express regret, not just to regain well-being for those who hurt,
But to assure those around us that we are big people with broad shoulders.
People who they can draw close to with certainty,
Who are committed to holding our own bar high and taking responsibility for our actions.

We apologize not just to heal others.
But to heal our own arrogance.

We show humility not just to lighten their hearts.
But to free our own hearts from blackness.


1 Comment

  • comment-avatar
    Venktesh November 8, 2012 (9:35 am)

    I have read the entire message and understood why one should not apologize. You want to give and give thats the reason you dont hurt others. I have something to show via which you will be able to maintain relationships with others. If you respect relationship, you should manage it through certain set of rules. Play a game and know how closely you maintain relationships and how much you care for. Thanks