We’ve all screwed up at some time in our lives. Whether we’ve broken a piece of expensive dinnerware at a friend’s party, dented the fender on a borrowed car, or gotten into a full-blown argument with someone at work, we’ve all done it at some time in our adult lives.
Chances are good that when we were kids, we were forced to say we were sorry, and our parents insisted that we meant it, without concern for whether we felt it our not.
We apologize most effectively when we repair the damage. A symbol of our regret, while appropriate, is never sufficient by itself.
If they also failed to help us recognize that we are separate from our actions, we were likely left feeling we had no choice, and that we were generally a bad person. There was nothing genuine about the situation because honesty was not a factor and honesty is the root of every effective apology. No wonder we can find it hard to show or say we’re sorry when we screw up as adults!
Fortunately, as adults, we can be genuine in our apologies, and show our own children a better way to handle our mistakes. Continue reading
A few weeks ago a far-away friend reminded me of the importance of keeping in touch with those who mean the most to us but whose paths no longer naturally cross ours.
Using Skype, a phone call can become a face-to-face visit where we better experience our precious time together.
She was speaking from her heart after having just learned that a dear friend, a near-family member, had died a few days earlier. She went on to describe the details that were most important to her about who he was and how he had made her feel. She recalled her precious memories of him and how she planned to spend time that evening listening to his favorite music. She also spoke of her regret.
Do you know what is behind every decision and every action we take? It’s our integrity. Integrity is the currency of our lives. When we act with integrity, we’re paying our way in life with a type of money we keep in our moral wallet. Each piece of currency represents some guideline that we use, consciously or subconsciously, every day of our lives. When we use this currency consistently, people know they can bank on us doing the right thing.
When we cut moral corners, we wear away our own foundation. Cracks appear, pieces crumble, and eventually, our integrity has disappeared. What’s left is insufficient to sustain a moral life.
When we cut a moral corner, it’s like we’re putting counterfeit money into our wallets, where it gets mixed in with the integrity money that we pull out later. We tell ourselves we’re not hurting anyone. That’s not true.
Filed under Honesty, Respect