September 26th, 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. An apology can be for something small, for example bumping into someone while walking to class. But an apology can also be for a greater reason, cheating on your significant other. However, the word “sorry” is used for both these situations even though they have totally different circumstances. 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?
Think to yourself how many times a day you say “sorry” and how many other times you hear people say “sorry.” I’m sure you wouldn’t even be able to count it on one hand. The term has grew such light meaning to us today, and I’m not sure why. Spelman expands on the idea of how important an apology is, when we truthfully don’t even realize how important that word is. This is when she also starts to explain the idea of reparation, which is when you also give something because an apology can’t fulfill. For example, when the tragedy of 9/1 occurred, not only did families receive an apology, but also money and services needed to try to make sense of this horrid situation. But, in those circumstances does an apology or money even begins to explain the devastation after? 9/11 not only caused trauma and devastation that day, but also for the rest of our lives. Today, 9/11 still has an impact on us and always will in our everyday lives. Reparations are needed when an apology can’t do enough, but would you give your friend money if you two encountered a fight?
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. Whether it’s a relationship with a friend, significant other, or family we all have our differences and we all seem to fight sometimes, which is okay. However, when you are faced with an argument with someone you care about, it’s a scary and unbearable at times. I have experienced this when I endured a fight with one of my friends that lasted for several weeks. It started from something small, but soon enough got worse as the days went on. 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? Truthfully, I was irritated that she couldn’t understand that I could still talk to other people, which resulted in me being angry with her as well.
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. Creating this apology could be a challenge for us and it was for me. How do you put your remorse and regret into one word? It also is a very trying time for us because the other person needs to accept the apology. 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 learned how to truly apologize to someone and show that I meant it and am responsible for what I have caused. I also apologized for doing things to even risk our friendship ending. I knew I had to so she could see how serious I was about my apology and how terrible I felt. With people that care about you, they understand that sometimes we mess up, and that’s okay to because we are only human. 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. I still make mistakes and I will continue to keep making mistakes, however when an apology is greatly needed, I know how to show remorse to what I have done. We learn the importance of an apology after we have to use its true meaning and after we almost destroy a relationship.
Overall, Spelman taught the idea of how important an apology is and how our remorse, responsibility and regret need to be accounted for in our apologies. After one has to give an apology that has true meaning, one will learn how serious this word is. The light use of this word happens on a day-to-day basis, however one will never know the true meaning until they are forced to use it.