Is apologizing overrated? or, “Sorry doesn’t take the jelly off the dinosaur”

Posted by on Aug 15, 2010 in Edwin Goes to Cooking School and I don't... | 0 comments


Is apologizing overrated?  Today I was offended and hurt by something a person I love and respect said to me.  It is hours later and I remain damaged in a way, even though I know the behavior was not intentional and that our relationship will survive. 

There is a letter to the editor of TIME today speaking to a recent column in which the author admitted he had been wrong but perhaps did not add "and I’m sorry".  As I read this, I found myself contemplating the value of these few words, "I’m sorry".  I myself use them liberally in both my personal and professional life, and indeed, I am often sorry for the state of things whether I contributed or not.  Of what value is this really?  It is simply easier to say "I’m sorry" that to admit I was wrong?

We have a favorite story in our family from when our son was 8 or so and our daughter 3 and we had just returned from Disney World where Nik had garnered a stuffed Figment from Epcot Center, his one souvenir.  Malina was playing with the toy after eating her lunch and transferred a little grape jelly from her hand onto the stuffed dinosaur.  Nik was quite upset that his toy was damaged and Malina was in tears as she apologized more than once, to which he replied "’Sorry doesn’t take the jelly off the dinosaur".  To this day, if someone in my extended family apologizes, they know these words will be the response.  Sometimes in jest, sometimes in anger – but the same exact words – Sorry doesn’t take the jelly off the dinosaur.

It is difficult to argue with the wisdom of a child. 

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