This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 48; the forty-eighth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton."Say 'Sorry' to Vicky"
I had just about finished yelling at Vicky, and was mentally prepared to stop seeing him as an imp of Satan and start seeing as a normal boy like myself when my dad, who was passing by, had to poke his nose into our affairs. On the instant, the normal boy vanished from my vision and the imp of Satan returned. After all, there was no point in getting angry with your dad. You could hardly express it to him - well, I suppose you could but the repercussions were likely to be VERY unpleasant.
"Didn't you hear me? Say Sorry"
"Sorry", I spat at Vicky.
The word MAY mean an apology but I ensured that it sounded like one of those swear words that adults so love to use when angry. I glared at Vicky and, if looks could kill, he would have been toast.
THAT is the funny thing. Just as you are really feeling sorry, an adult pokes his nose in and, by making you say 'Sorry', makes you stop feeling sorry. It took about a week more to normalize relationships with Vicky, no thanks to the fact that he spent three of those days gloating about my saying 'Sorry' to him. But, eventually, I stopped seeing those horns on his head, that forked tongue and sharp canines, the tail with an arrow-head at the end and a pitchfork in his hands.
THAT was my first step in 'maturing'. For adults, form is more important than substance. In other words, it is more important to apologize than to really feel apologetic. In fact, going forth in life, I realized that it was absolutely unnecessary to actually feel apologetic about anything as long as you can apologize gracefully. Not that realizing it helped me. Since I can do nothing gracefully, I could not merrily do whatever I wanted and just apologize my way through life.
(Incidentally, the other thing about adulthood, I realized is that, if a person once appears like an imp of Satan, he NEVER reverts to becoming a normal person in their vision - whereas an angel can, quite readily, exchange his wings and harp for the horns etc and a pitchfork. Even if that person saves your life, it would only be to prove that he was superior to you, of course, and not because of any good intent. If anything, anyone belonging to his community, race or whatever also acquire nebulous horns, canines and tail, thanks to him. And they are more likely to change from 'nebulous' to 'concrete' than the other way around.)
That got me thinking about whether we say 'Sorry' when we mean to tender an apology. (No! No! Not when I was a boy. Now!) As far as I remember, I have said 'Sorry' easily when I did not really mean it and got tongue-tied when I did. You know what I mean - you brush the shoulder of a stranger by accident on the road and 'Sorry' comes tripping off your tongue by conditioned reflex. It is not that shame at the transgression burns your soul. If anything, anger may burn if the other guy also does not say, 'Sorry' or, at least, 'It's alright' or some such thing.
Take the time when I gestured magnificently (I ALWAYS gesture magnificently!) and knocked an expensive bottle of French wine on the costly carpet in a friend's house. Do you think I was really sorry about the spreading wine stains on that carpet. You bet I was. Do you think I said 'Sorry'?
I wanted to, alright, but there was this strangling sensation in the throat and someone had lit a fire inside the skin of my face, with specific attention to the area around my ears. I cleared my throat, giggled inanely and said, "Oh! I am always like this. Totally butter-fingered", by way of apology. So, my friend and his wife gathered that I was blaming them for not knowing enough to keep the carpet out of harm's way, and for not settling for cheap plonk when they invited me home. THAT, apparently, did not seem like much of an apology to them.
I know! To say 'Sorry' when you feel sorry is necessary, considering that people are, unfortunately, deficient in telepathy and are unable to see HOW sorry you feel. To feel sorry, when there is reason to be, should be a part of your character, else you belong somewhere below the animals. THEY have no motives, other than feeding and procreating, so they tend to do nothing that needs feeling apologetic. To think that saying 'Sorry' is a sufficient substitute for feeling sorry - even where you are not merely saying it as a matter of good manners - is the peculiar attribute of 'civilized' humanity.
They say knowing what needs to be done is half the battle won. THAT does not really console me, since I despair of winning the other half. I would probably end up in the position of the guy, who jumps across a deep well and succeeds in making a jump that takes him halfway!