I’m sorry are two words often misused. Being sorry is defined as “feeling regret, compunction, sympathy, pity, etc.” Step back and think; how many times a day do you say you’re sorry without even realizing it? People need to stop apologizing for things they don’t mean. You don’t want to go out with your friend? You shouldn’t have to apologize. You have certain feelings about someone or something that someone disagrees with? Don’t say you’re sorry, you can’t help how you feel. These two words seemed to have lost there meaning a long time ago. An apology should be very powerful, not just two meaningless words that people spit out way too often.
If you’re going to waste your breathe saying you’re sorry, make sure you actually mean it. People need to understand that saying “I’m sorry” isn’t going to solve all their problems. Because of how loosely these words are used, it has completely lost it’s effect. Saying sorry, to many people, is as natural as saying hello and goodbye. No one likes to see someone upset, so their first reaction is to turn around and say they are sorry for something that an apology is not necessary for. In Spelman’s opinion,
“Moreover, apology is inappropriate if what one has done does not really constitute damage. If what I have done to you is something to be apologized for, it must be something that harms you” (Spelman 83).
She acknowledges that if you’re going to apologize than you better have done something that deserves an apology.
I find that I apologize too many times a day. It is very rare that I actually need to apologize to someone for something that actually causes damage. I have also realized, when I apologize to someone I also need to apologize to myself because I get so upset with myself that I need to find it within me to move on. As a gymnast you learn that conditioning is crucial to your success. If you do not keep up with your strength than you will not be able to get through those final skills in your bar routine, that last pass in your floor routine, or even be able to successfully complete two vaults in a row. Not conditioning is detrimental to your progress. I realized what it was like to be sorry to myself rather than to someone else when I was a gymnast. We would condition for an hour either in the beginning or the end of our daily 5 hour practice. When we would condition at the end I was already so physically exhausted I found myself pretending to do 30 pull ups while I really did 15 or saying I climbed the rope 3 times when I only climbed twice. As hard as it was I could’ve done it but I took the easy way out instead of pushing myself. When that competition season rolled around and we had to start putting routines together I found it very difficult to keep up with my team members. I managed to just get by, but I realized and was truly regretful of my decision to take the easy way out. For that I apologized to myself and my coaches who put in a lot of time and effort to get us to a new level.
Finding something that deserves a real apology isn’t too common. More times than not you’ll find yourself apologizing for something that is not worthy of one. What if apologies didn’t exist? Do you think people would be more careful of what they do knowing they could never repair the damage? I think that people are so careless because they know if someone gets hurt they can always try and make it up to them. Thinking this way is not a good idea because it leads to careless behavior. I believe that everyone should think as if they didn’t have the opportunity to apologize and maybe they will think twice before doing or saying specific things. If you are going to apologize make sure it’s worth it and make sure you are not throwing around the words ‘i’m sorry’ for something meaningless.