Attacks on Apologies

Sonia Tracy

English 110

r2

19 September 2016

In Chapter 5, Spelman explains the actual meaning of the word “sorry” and the importance of this word. This made me start to wonder, how many times a day do people say the word “sorry”? The word itself has created such a loose term. People everyday say “sorry” like it’s nothing, it just naturally comes out of ones mouth. However, Spelman goes deeper into the meaning of the word in her book Repair, where she explains how much this word actually means and the importance of the word. An apology is something that should be used when full regret, remorse and responsibility is shown. Spelman includes the idea of an apology into a different version of repair. Apologies are used when a special relationship or situation is at risk of being gone forever because of ones wrongdoings. The apologizer needs to express their remorse to repair their relationship once again. If we use the term “sorry” so lightly, how would one ever know the true meaning of an apology?

As we grow, we learn from our mistakes because life is a way of trial and error. Along the way, we mess up and we learn to apologize. These apologies taught us how remorse feels, and what a terrible feeling to endure when a relationship you once cared for might be gone. Throughout our lives, we make friendships with people, some which mean something to us and some that don’t. Once we find those true relationships, we do everything in our power to have a strong and enjoyable relationship. However, everything that means something to a person has its ups and downs. This is because we care so much about the relationship; we never want anything in the way to harm it. I have experienced this when I endured a fight with one of my friends that lasted for several weeks. She became angry with me when I started to be with other people and we saw less and less of each other. At the time, I was irritated that she was mad at me for this, why is it so wrong if I talk to other people?

After weeks of not talking, I finally came to realization of why she was truly mad at me and I felt the feeling of remorse. She didn’t care I was with other people, she was looking out for me because of the people I was with instead of her, she cared for me. At this point, I knew I had to apologize and I learned from my mistakes. Spelman states,

“To apologize to someone is to say that there is a harm worth attending to, a relationship worth mending, a rule worth honoring, a community worth preserving.”

Sometimes we become angry with the people that care most about us because we don’t see it from their perspective, and we don’t think they are looking out for us in the moment. But, those are the people that care most about those and us are the relationships we have to reserve. However, after this I truly apologized and I knew I had to so she could see how serious I was about my apology and how terrible I felt. Spelman states, “he regrets what he has done and feels sorrow over what he has wrought,” and that’s the lesson I learned from this for the rest of my life. We learn the importance of an apology after we have to use its true meaning and after we almost destroy a relationship.

 

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6 thoughts on “Attacks on Apologies

  1. In paragraph two, Sonia discusses how apologies are over used in the sense that people just throw around the saying “I’m sorry.” She uses a real life example that explains what an apology means to her. She explains how life is a way of trial and error. She says, “Once we find those true relationships, we do everything in our power to have a strong and enjoyable relationship.” We have to learn how to apologize to make our way through life if we want these strong and enjoyable relationships to last.

  2. I really like the way this essay was written. Sonia’s point was made very clear from the start. I really like the way she mentions that apologies are used so loosely because I know from a personal standpoint that the word sorry comes out of my mouth way too much even when I’m not truly sorry. I love that she connected Spelman’s points with a personal experience and lesson she has learned. Great Job!

  3. “Sometimes we become angry with the people that care most about us because we don’t see it from their perspective, and we don’t think they are looking out for us in the moment. But, those are the people that care most about us and those are the relationships we have to reserve.”

    Sonia, your heart-felt observation really struck a chord. All too often, a difference in perspective can lead to simple misunderstanding that ends up tearing relationships apart. Repair can only succeed when there is a better understanding of the circumstances, a closer alignment of perspectives, and genuine “care ethic” that binds the relationship. Interpersonal relationships (and repair) cannot be unilateral, which is one of the key themes in Spelman’s book.

    (In a way, I can well imagine your words coming out of the mouths of many a parent. So here, I salute you.)

  4. I really like the first paragraph of your response. The way you highlighted how loosely we use the term sorry really made me think about how many times a day we say it for silly things like not holding the door for somebody or nudging somebody in the dining hall line. It is thrown around a lot and in this day and age, seems like it is starting to lose its true meaning. The fact that you then go on and detail Spelman’s meaning of it in regards to repairing as well as keeping the same idea of the first couple sentences really starts your piece of well and is a very good method.

  5. Sonia,

    Your writing has prompted several engaged responses—which is always a good sign! Like msot of your other readers, I am drawn to the moment when you begin to apply Spelman’s thinking about apologies to your own relationship with your friend. I’d like to hear more. Perhaps you can deepen what Spelman has to say about the nature of remorse.

    And that points to the other way in which you could develop this piece: You highlight the notion of remorse as something that you need to learn, that doesn’t just come naturally. Again, I’d like to hear more.

    A piece with a lot of possibilities!

    Joe

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