Vince (Login MoxiFox) Von Klumpen Posted Nov 21, 2011 6:28 AM
It comes down to motive.
There's a saying, "if you love something -(person or animal)- let it be free. If it comes back to you, it's yours. If it doesn't, it was never yours in the first place."
Apologies and forgiveness are too often motivated by a desire to retain a relationship and/or to improve a relationship ... for the sake of security or a feeling of security. That's an improper application of those actions because it boils down to selfishness and a desire to "get" something back in return for "doing the right thing."
Apologies and forgiveness should be given freely with absolutely no intention of getting anything back in return.
Apologies and forgiveness need to be motivated from empathy ... where you do it because you care about the other person or entity and understand their feelings are every bit as important as your own.
I think ... if you understand the correct motivation ... it will answer many other associated questions such as you asked.
Getting to the BOTTOM of a "misunderstanding" is often the solution to the misunderstanding ... and it's something people (for some reason) are too often, reluctant to do ... because they fear they'll "lose" something -(maybe face)- if they try it. Damaged egos and all that stuff ...
I remember an incident that happened in my grade 9 year which was one of those situations.
My parents were Mennonites and there was always a "natural" affinity between Mennonites, regardless of flavor. (You stick with your own, eh?)
Well they sort of knew this other Mennonite family from a "distant" town and we had visited back and forth a little bit but didn't really know each other well.
There was one boy who was a year older than me, kind of slow in some respects ... and he had flunked grade 9 so that put him into the same grade as me: grade 9 again.
It so happened that in THIS year, his own school closed down and he and his siblings were bussed to the same school as me ... so now we were actually in the same class.
Initially, I didn't know him very well and didn't particularly like him either ... but ... one needs to "do the right thing" and not let personal preferences dictate lousy action.
It was somewhere near the beginning of that year that the incident happened. The boys all gathered in the washroom before school started (as a kind of ritualistic gathering place) and the usual banter occurred.
One guy said to this boy -(I'll call him Harry)- "Harry, you better go; you're mother is calling you!"
To "stick up for him" ... I threw my own version of a jibe back at the other fellow. I said, "how can she? She's not even his mother!"
I mean, grade 9 students say pretty stupid things that aren't well thought out!~ What I meant was that the spinster grade 9 teacher wasn't his mother ... but ... how could anyone KNOW what I thought or meant eh?
Well ... Harry, whom I MEANT to defend ... took it completely wrong. He thought that I was suddenly turning fickle and saying that his mother was a prostitute or something. He whirled on me, pinned me to the wall and seethed, "don't you EVER insult my mother again!!"
And that brought a huge guffaw from all of the other guys and I was left speechless as Harry stormed out of the washroom.
I was at a loss here. I had succeeded in bringing great derision upon Harry as I had "outed" his quick temper and loss of personal control over harmless taunts. Yet, my INTENTIONS had been totally the opposite. But if I were to go to Harry and tell him what I intended with what I said ... it would only look as though I were trying to protect myself and that would make him look even worse! What could I possibly DO to salvage the situation?
Making the situation even more difficult and ridiculous is that I have this propensity to say stupid things that no one could possibly understand (in retrospect) ... which really turns people off ... and this had been one of those moments.
Ok, I'll stop the story there and wait for suggestions as to what y'all think I should have done to "solve" the situation with Harry....