When “sorry” becomes a cliché

About Eritrea - Art & Sport

The woman was carrying a very unusually big bag that hunched her shoulder over the weight. A toddler was tagging along, a lollipop on his hand while his other hand was clutching his mother’s coattail. To make matters worse the woman was in such a hurry to catch the last bus that she bumped into this girl who was walking just ahead of her and sent the girl sprawling across the street.

“I am so sorry” rushed the woman to apologize for her clumsiness as she fought the temptation to give up all her efforts to reach home on time. Today everything seems to gang up on her.

The girl rose up from the ground dusting her clothes off, fuming with anger and shame but one look at the woman rendered her speechless. It was an accident, one that was unavoidable and the situation of the woman brooked no argument or any form of resentment. The woman’s face said it all. It was not okay but considering the situation of the woman, the girl was obliged to say “it is okay”, as she smiled with assurance at the toddler who was watching everything with candid curiosity; she even offered to help with the load till the bus station.

Do we know the meaning of the word sorry? How do we use it in our daily activities and life? Do we really mean our apologies or is it just a formality for us? Do we say sorry because that is the first word that comes to our mouth when we realize we have done something wrong? And do we forward a sincere forgiveness or just pretend that we have forgiven one when we are really brewing a revenge?

The word sorry has been misused and abused on so many occasions; 21st century and we still don’t know how and when to use this word. Some people just apologize just because it is a formality and not because they really felt it or understood the meaning of it. Lately it has become a word that is been used frequently in the wrong place and situation. We need to consider that there are a number of incidents that just can’t be excused with just a lousy “sorry”. It’s about time that we realize that when someone apologizes he or she should know the full impact of his/her fault and ask for forgiveness from the bottom of his or her heart; and not just because an apology is expected of him/her. Sometimes there are things we do knowing the consequences it might bear but convincing ourselves that everything would be all right if we say ‘sorry’ afterwards, so we just proceed with our plans. Look here, the other time a certain girl – who by the way is the town’s tease and flirt – flirts a guy who is engaged to a friend of mine. The guy falls for it and one thing led to another. Okay! Things happen so they were both at fault and you know what they say to err is human, (since no one among us is perfect) they both gave in to the temptation. They were wrong and have realized the fallout of their actions prior to its happening but didn’t stop it either. Now they both admit their fault (which by the way is good for them, because there are also types of individuals who can’t see their transgression or admit that they are wrong) but these two people should never ever entertain any ideas of asking for forgiveness. How can anyone say ‘sorry’ after cheating on you? There are things that should be redeemed with apologies and there are many more that can’t be. God may pardon you for such transgressions, but I never can and that’s why I keep saying that forgiveness is humanly impossible unless of course God in his graciousness dusted some of his nature onto you.

Forgiveness is something we can’t just understand with this human heart and weak mind of ours (the weak can never forgive; forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.) We need some kind of revelation or form of understanding to exercise forgiveness during out interactions in this world. Believe me I want to be a better person and forgive and forget things but no matter how hard I try it proves to be impossible, at least I could forgive but I can’t possibly forget it. Unless I get a slight form of amnesia, it is humanly impossible. Who among us could be merciful enough to forgive someone who caused him or her injury that lasts throughout life? Would you forgive a person who has cost you your eyesight? Okay leys say you forgive him with the help of a cosmic grace that outsmarts our earthling way of thinking but you can’t possibly forget his deed even for a splitting second’s span of moment. You know what they say yeah, the stupid neither forgives nor forgets and only the naïve forgives and forgets but the wise forgives but not forgets

Sometimes the existence of the word sorry seems as if it is some kind of encouragement to show negligence in our activities. To a certain degree human beings indulge in performing a certain misdeed because of the practice of apology in our system. So we go on doing our things as we hurt and offend people on the way and just because saying ‘sorry’ has become such a cliché we don’t really apologize for our faults but just to maintain a formality. And the other way round, forgiveness and saying ‘I have forgiven you’ has also become just a formality that goes with a shallow sorry that wasn’t either intended from the heart. It has become a game, there is no sincere forgiveness and asking apology has become another cliché. The other time I heard a very absurd trend this girl follows. She has a time limit she holds a grudge against someone. I heard there are a lot like her who forgive people after three or more years. ‘I hold no grudge after two years’ said a girl only to be as spiteful as she was after these two years passed by. After these two years she swore animatedly ‘I forgive nobody. I wish them all a terrible life and then the fires and ice of hell afterwards’. She intends to forgive because not to do so would be just cannibalism or not humanly but she does not intend to do so soon and is not yet ready to forgive or forget. On the top of this she is confused how much she should forgive. I just pray that I don’t offend such kind of bitter and calculating people who don’t know how to let go of things. By the way we need some kind of table that tells us how much and how many times we should forgive and to whom.

They say there is no future without forgiveness and on different occasions it has being mentioned that forgiveness is a godly act that keeps this world of ours to go on and on, but I have never ever understood any of it. Maybe it is shallow of me to think this way but how could anyone just let go of past misdeeds that has been done to him or her by someone else just because this someone said a word composed of five words- ‘sorry’? It is really beyond this little mind of mine to understand any of it. I mean wisdom has taught us to be calm and meek; we have grown up being told to not only take one blow but as confusing as it might sound to also turn the other cheek, but it is not written nor are we told what we shall do if the rude caitiff smite the other cheek too. Are we supposed to forgive and forget? Or are we suppose to read between the lines and draw our own conclusion.

Who ever coined the word “sorry” and the sentence “I am so sorry” didn’t realize how malicious and quite dangerous the human heart can be. No one can truly forgive and forget unless some kind of cosmic and divine intervention and revelation took over one. I mean if we fail to see the consequences of holding a grudge and not forgiven others, we can’t forgive others. We, human beings need a reason for everything we execute during out stay in this world. So unless we are convinced that there is a far more benefit we somehow acquire by forgiving others we will not forgive others. Why should we? Imagine how hard it is to just let bygones be bygones and forgive someone who truly has wounded you. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t be able to turn my other cheek for someone who just slapped me once, I would gather every fiber of my being to throw a hard and mean punch to return the favor and kindness he or she showed me. Even let’s say if by some miracle and grace bestowed on me from the heaven, I gave my slapper the other cheek of mine, I would never ever forgive him for slapping me twice (he or she would be better off with just one slap because it will be my mission in life to return at least two or four smites across his or her face and I wouldn’t even wink once before I settle the score.) That’s when I would feel content and would sleep soundly. So I advice you to beware of the person who does not return your blow: he neither forgives you nor allows you to relax either because you will be constantly looking over your shoulder. You are sure that he will settle the score; you just don’t know when and how.

Mind me here people, I am not encouraging you not to forget. If it is possible you should be naïve for your own good. You know what, forgiveness has its own benefits, the moment you let go of something and your long held grudges, you feel like a weight or a burden has been lifted from you. When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free. Forgiveness has the same feeling like releasing yourself from the captivity of any sort. I mean people always say that forgiveness is good for your own good. It heals your soul and sets you free. Looking from a logical point of view, I would rather revenge or pay back all the wrong doings I have been done over the past days of my life but again let’s say I did revenge and paid back everyone, I am not sure that I will feel peace and be at rest after my vengeance. Instead I have the feeling that I would be filled with remorse and guilt. But if I should forget and forgive that has happened to me, I will set my self free and will be filled with inner peace and happiness that my revenge wouldn’t be able to guarantee me. You know what they say a worthy man is not mindful of past injuries but future plans.
I leave you with this quote that has changes my outlook of life, “Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don’t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time.” so to ape the magnanimity of pure love and to bring about inner peace to ourselves we should forgive and forget, because to forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.