Dangers of Repair

Anne Skorobohaty

English 110

r3

23 September 2016

When reading Elizabeth Spelman’s book Repair, insight is given to the readers to show that repair, restoration, reconciliation, preservation, conservation, replication, or reconstruction are just a necessary part of life even though they may be detrimental to the object or person receiving the mending.This book made the reader think deeper into his or her own life about how he or she repairs or fixes things. I took many different points away from Spelman. I took away from this book that there are different types of repair, “it’s about the survival of the old”, that it is “more of an art than a science, derivative of what already exists.” But, I also realized that not all things are meant to be fixed, apologies need to be meaningful to be accepted, and saying “I’m sorry” after every small incident happens is not significant. Repair is confusing for many to handle due to the fact that humans sometimes fix things that shouldn’t be fixed and don’t fix things that are in need of being repaired.

Humans learn how to apologize at a young age. It all starts with when kids were first scolded by their parents for doing something wrong. From then on, people have to say sorry for the ongoing wrongdoings that occur throughout someone’s life. Spelman says,

To apologize to someone is to say that there is harm worth attending to, a relationship worth mending, a rule worth honoring, a community worth preserving. (Spelman 83)

Realizing that there is an apology needed to help tend to the “harm” a person makes causes repair to occur. For example, when my younger sister and I were little we used to collect fireflies during the nights of summer. One night, we could not find any fireflies out, but that did not stop us from hunting for them. After about thirty minutes of searching, my little sister finally found one and put it into a little jar that we have specifically for those fire flies. One wasn’t enough for her, so she went out looking for more, but I became too fatigued and did not want to look anymore. Instead, I started playing with the one firefly that she caught and accidentally let it go. When my sister came back, she was upset she could not find anymore but was excited to play with the single one she caught earlier. She noticed the firefly was no longer there and instantly grew angry at me because she realized I set the little guy free. She ran inside with an upset look on her face. I felt terrible for letting her little creature go, so I ran inside after her and sincerely apologized to her telling her I would catch her some tomorrow night instead. My apology took awhile to gain its acceptance, but eventually that night she told me it was okay and also apologized for getting so upset with me. This example explains the interaction of an apology that needs sincerity for the pain and sadness to go away. Not only are apologies important, but the way you say you’re apology has a lot of impact on the outcome of a situation.

The emotions of apologizers are crucial to the genuineness of the apology. (Spelman 84)

If my apology to my sister was nonexistent or not meaningful, I might as well not have apologized. It would have put a strain on my relationship with my sister. Even though I did something so tiny to make her upset, it still affected her more than I thought it would. Even though we went firefly hunting all of the time during the summer, that single firefly brought her so much happiness and positivity, and I took that away from her. Once that processed through my mind, I had to give the most wholehearted apology explaining to her that it wasn’t my intent to make her so upset. The apology that I gave her came from the bottom of my heart convincing her that I was wrong for what I did. For her to accept the apology she had to realize that I was actually sorry.

But, we have seen the examples of when repairing is not the right choice for the repairer or could cause some danger to the person who was trying to fix what was broken. Spelman briefly mentions how that there are risks to heeling problems and brokenness. She says,

Repair can be dangerous work. It can severely hurt the repairer, and it can destroy rather than fix the object meant to be mended. (Spelman 42)

The author brings some realization to the fact that improvement at the wrong time or to the wrong person can become counterproductive. For example, this book has talked a lot about fixing automobiles in order to make them work again or look exactly like the car that was there in the first place. But, if the person working on the car is not skilled enough to deal with the dangerous activity at hand, there is a possibility that him or her could become injured due to a slip up. In this case, the person who was trying to fix up the car back into good shape is now wounded. The same thing can occur with a person; they too can be hurt in the process of repairing.

We read an example about a girl named Jackie who became pregnant by her boyfriend and was seeking help from her parents. If Jackie was receiving help from her parents but was not being respectful and thankful for her parents help, Jackie’s parents might get frustrated with her causing them to feel the need to back off. Say they brought her to a doctor, but she wanted to go to a different doctor that her friend recommended. Jackie may start to become aggressive with her parents about the decisions they were making for her. She may even start to become upset with her mom causing her mom to get annoyed. This is an important example of how the repairer can be hurt in the process of trying to help. In this instance, Jackie’s parents can become very upset with her and may not want to help her anymore with the original problem at hand. This causes a “crack” within the relationship between Jackie and her parents.

It is a part of life to be broken down as well as become worn and torn. Repairing a person is the only option to over come these problems, but humans have to take caution in how they go about fixing something. Sometimes it can be too hard for the person that is just trying to help causing more damage to be done then what was started with.

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Harm Worth Attending

Anne Skorobohaty

English 110

r2

15 September 2016

In Chapter 5, Spelman explains how an apology can be a type of repair in our daily lives. It takes a lot of guts to genuinely apologize to someone when you know you have messed up. When people are to say sorry, it should be emotional. Spelman says, “The emotions of apologizers are crucial to the genuineness of the apology.” The apologizer needs to have emotion as well as do the work of apologizing in order to reach civil peace again. Although, the person saying sorry is the main focus, the person receiving the sorrow and replying back also has an important say in how the relationship moves on.

As a teenager’s role in life, they test out relationships and build on friendships in many different ways. For instance, it is a part of our life to make friends, be social, and create close bonds with others. If the relationship becomes important to a person, he or she usually tries to make the friendship strong and dependable. Sometimes, there are hiccups within the relationship where an apology is needed. This apology needs to be persuasive and said with an feeling of emotion behind it. Spelman says,

We saw that in the case of reparations neither emotions of the payers nor those of the payees are relevant. The emotions of apologizers are crucial to the genuineness of the apology. (Spelman 84)

Earlier in the chapter, Spelman explains that reparations are given as a repair method because an apology is just not felt needed. The reparations give you a reason to “never have to say you’re sorry.” She explains how this is not an emotional process, but rather a physical process of giving money for breaking or harming something. For example, say a girl gets into an accident on the highway because she was texting. The man in front of her stopped short in order to avoid an accident in front of him. The girl now has to take realize it is her fault as to why the accident occurred. She could apologize to the man when they pull over and call 911, but she most likely does not mean it genuinely. She will have a fine to pay to the man also which would be included the reparation or her way of repairing the situation. It is her duty to pay something to the man for her wrongdoing.

In comparison, Spelman mentions that there needs to be emotion behind an apology for the person to give their forgiveness. I believe that apologies are the best way in fixing something that was broken due to a wrong choice of yours. For example, my mom became very frustrated with me because I was not passing a class due to the lack of studying I had been doing for a class. Whenever she saw a bad grade in the grade book online, she would give me a talk about how I have to make school my first priority. Finally, I got the message she was trying to get across, and I apologized to her about my bad performance. After realizing the grades I was getting within the first two weeks of school and how unhappy my mom was getting, I knew I had to change my attitude towards school. But, I felt the need to genuinely apologize to my mom for creating so much stress in her life. She only wanted the best for me, and I knew I had to tell her I was sorry and that I was going to step it up. The only way I could convince my mom that I was going to change was if I sincerely apologized.

Spelman explains that the need for an apology is when “he regrets what he has done and feels sorrow over what he has wrought.” An apology is very serious in the repair process, and Spelman assures her readers that the apologize needs to be a two way street with the person saying sorry and the person receiving the sorrows. The genuineness and seriousness of an apology makes it easy for the apology to be accepted and moved past from.

R1

Anne Skorobohaty

English 110

r1

12 September 2016

Repair can be interpreted in many different ways as we have realized reading Elizabeth Spelman’s book Repair. This book has explained about cars being repaired or restored depending on the person fixing it. It also explained relationships that were hurt and broken that needed mending by others. To repair something can mean many different things, but everything in the world needs repairing due to the fact that nothing is perfect. Even though something may be repaired once does not mean it wont need to be fixed again. But, sometimes fixing something can also harm the repairer causing more damage to be done.

“Repair can be dangerous work. It can severely hurt the repairer, and it can destroy rather than fix the object meant to be mended.”

Spelman is trying to explain how repair is needed throughout life, but it can also be a harmful. She mentions this in Chapter 3 but not for very long because we are supposed to believe that repairing is mostly good for us. So far in Chapters 1 through 3 readers can come to an understanding that fixing something is what is needed to move on through life. But on page 42, Spelman brings some realization to the fact that improvement at the wrong time or to the wrong person can become counterproductive. For example, this book has talked a lot about fixing automobiles in order to make them work again and look exactly like the car that was there in the first place. But, if the person working on the car is not skilled enough to deal with the dangerous activity at hand, there is a possibility that him or her could become injured due to a slip up. In this case, the person who was trying to fix up the car back into good shape is now wounded. Obviously the more skilled the mechanic is, there will be less of an opportunity to have an accident happen. As he or she continues to work on multiple cars, more confidence is gained in the fact that him or her won’t possibly mess up and put his or her life at risk.

Along with the automobile shop analogy, we have read about the household being a place where repairing as well. Here is where relationships are mended, the body is replenished, and where people are meant to learn lessons. The household is a place where people can be “restored into a functional state.” Often times people take home problems that they have had throughout their day. As we have read in Chapter 3, Jackie tells her parents about how she has become pregnant by her boyfriend. She feels as if her life has fallen apart causing her to need people around her who can help amend herself as well as her problem. Her parents obviously can be upset with her, but they are the people who she needs the most to help her become the person she was before she broke. In this instance, repairing Jackie can be difficult but will happen.

As Jackie is starting to feel better about her problem because her mom is helping her through each step guiding her to the best help she can receive, Jackie may start to quickly change her emotions towards her mom. For example, let’s say that Jackie’s mom was very upset that this happened but started to help her daughter by bringing her to a doctor to get checked out. Jackie’s mom was trying to get her the best help she could, but Jackie did not want the type of help her mom was supplying. Say Jackie wanted to go to a different doctor then what her mom picked out. Jackie may start to become aggressive with her mom about the decisions her mom is making for her. She may even start to become upset with her mom causing her mom to get annoyed with Jackie. This is an important example of how the repairer can be hurt in the process of trying to help. Jackie does not accept the help her mom is trying to give to her because she wants to do it her way thinking she knows better then her mom. In this instance, Jackie’s mom can become very upset with Jackie and may not want to help her anymore with the original problem at hand. This causes a “crack” within the relationship of Jackie and her mother.

As I have mentioned, it is a part of life to be broken down as well as become worn and torn. Repairing a person is the only option to over come these problems, but humans have to take caution in how they go about fixing something. Sometimes it can be too dangerous for the person that is just trying to help causing more damage to be done then what was started with.