When Love Story by American writer Erich Segal appeared as a book and then a movie in 1970, it was hailed as a romantic story of a young couple and her tragic death.
Whatever the degree of love we share, when we damage a relationship, we need to own our actions and find the courage to say, “I’m sorry.”
A line from the story was quite popular for a period of time: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
If you ask me, it’s a ridiculous idea that two people who love each other are somehow immune from ever needing to apologize. Quite the opposite is true. It is precisely because we love the other person that we should want to say we are sorry.
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
Common wisdom says that we can destroy our integrity in an instant. Common wisdom is wrong.
Our lives are built on integrity. Instant gratification and expediency wear it away and in time, can cause our lives to crumble.
That instant of destruction people refer to is not the moment we lose our integrity, rather it is the moment when the truth is discovered that we do not have integrity. It is at that moment of truth that the façade of who we are implodes and falls to the ground in a heap of rubble.
The truth is that every time we choose to lie about what we are doing, where we have been, or what we profess to be, we are destroying a bit of our integrity. It is only a matter of time before the truth is discovered and the carefully constructed façade is destroyed. Continue reading