Sorry seems to be the hardest word

burnt out cab

Stay Cool. Stay Clean.

I don’t mean to moan, but I’m going to – can you tell?!  

This week, on at least four occasions and for various reasons, I’ve hoped for an apology from someone and simply not got it. The circumstances and the people have varied – from shopkeepers to friends, but each person has failed to ‘do the right thing’, as I see it.

Rather than apologising, each of these people seems to believe that it is perfectly acceptable to dodge responsibility, lie even and then move swiftly on without acknowledging the impact of their action.

Each time it has left me baffled and after the third time I was left wondering whether I’ve missed one of life’s important little lessons. You know those unwritten rules that equip us to navigate life. Well maybe I was off ill for this one.

To my mind ‘sorry’ is such a powerful word which, when used properly, is very healing. I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness to say sorry, quite the opposite in fact. Of course there are occasions where the proponent simply doesn’t realise they’ve done anything wrong. And there are other times when saying sorry is too hard. But four times in three days? I think not!

So when did it become the norm to side step responsibility and cheerfully move on without acknowledgement? Is it a reflection of modern society? Or is it part of the human condition and I’m really naive to expect something different?

When these small but important points of confusion about life’s rules crop up, they push me off balance. Ideally of course I should forgive and forget, but sometimes (read ‘now’) it’s not so easy. Instead the confusion sits there like a smelly little monster on my shoulder. And then it all feels just a bit too hard.

So tell me, do other people feel like this? Do we all get confused and thrown off course? Or is it just me? Questions, questions – certainly life poses more questions that it answers. But I won’t apologise for asking!

Deep breath.

By way of a postscript, maybe even a fairytale ending who knows; one of these ‘non-sorryness’ incidents as I like to eloquently call them, resulted in my ascent up the chain of command in a very large and well-respected organisation, until I reached the top. While there I had the good fortune to literally bump into one of the head honchos, so I collared him and gave him some very clear; angry but measured messages about the failings of the organisation that he had responsibility for. Guess what he said.

I'm sorry text

I nearly fell over. I shall wait to see whether it results in any action. Maybe I’m being naive again. But at least there’s hope. And maybe I can get my balance back.

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One Response to “Sorry seems to be the hardest word”

  1. lfossi Says:

    My dear Clare,

    I am not a confident woman ( I do not show my weaknesses, that’s different) And live with my doubts and regrets. My way to deal with my inner anxiety and low self esteem is ACTION. It has not always been like that..no, no. With painting, I found a space of freedom and a way to turn myself toward others and communicate.

    Each painting is a project in itself that I cherish and try to complete. I struggle for each one but will, at some point, be able to say to myself: “this is good enough”. Then, when the painting has nothing else to be than to be, then it can be shown to others. Whist talking about a painting I somehow talk about myself, some people say that this is not professional, nor commercial but I do not care.

    When I sell a painting, a part of me goes with the painting…Then I feel adopted, loved, expanded. I sold 4 paintings after the Private Viewing and feel blessed by love and acceptance. My self esteem is better, but I assure you, not for long…

    I might consider some changes; to create more space between myself and my work, detach a little…. it is tiring to live with my own intense self, I envy you Clare who can pause and reflect on life and human condition. Your daughters are beautiful, I have not been a very successful mother…There are the gapping holes, frailties that only the artistic image can filled and transcend.

    Love, Lorraine

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