From what I have heard from too many people, “I’m sorry” is the two hardest words to say. My pastor once told me a story to contradict this, and it has stuck with me. He was late for one of his college classes, and casually said he was sorry as he took his seat in the class. The professor asked him if he meant it. He said he did. “Then why are you not on the ground at your knees with tears in your eyes when you say, ‘I’m sorry’? It is then I would truly believe you.”
Has the simplicity of those two words degraded the intensity, the significance of the meaning it holds? Does the sincerity hold strong when your voice is laced with animosity? How about when it is used as a tool to obtain an underlying goal?
The purpose of this is not to say that I am sorry to anyone. I realized that I hear those two words more frequently than I’d like to, and did not realize how other people have been treating me so they needed to use it so often. Then I realized what I usually say in response: “No worries.”
Maybe I have changed my mind. You should be worried that you have to appologize to me all the time or feel compelled to say “I’m sorry.” What would you do if one day I decided to say, “You should be sorry for what you did, and I do not forgive you”? My suspicion is that you will continue to to appologize in an attempt to make it right, be overly kind to me until I give in, and/or become upset with me.
Which leads me to my point. Has appologizing lost it’s meaning? I feel as though I have become desensitized to it’s importance. We expect people to forgive us for what we are appologetic for. I believe that the professor had a lesson that we should all take to heart, that we should only appologize for things that we do feel genuinely sorry for. As for the rest, say something else that is more appropriate and has a more significant meaning for the situation, not just a compulsive “I’m sorry.” Maybe then I will have restored my faith in the magnitude of the simple two words, “I’m sorry.”