Quite often I see an apology in the newspapers for some news item wrongly reported, or see a lawyer movie where the slick lawyer says, “I’m sorry your honour!’ But in both cases, I know it was either the fear of litigation or repercussions from His Lordship that brought on the apology but fear!

A few days ago I had seen a man plucking flowers in the garden below and had yelled at him, and my action had been bothering me. Today I decided to handle it. I walked to him, overtook him, then turned to him and said, “I’m sorry!”

We talked with each other awhile as he told me about his friend who was going to go on a pilgrimage to Tirupati.   

It was so easy.

Now listen to this letter of apology:

"Dear Dog,

I am so sorry about you being sent away for the broken lamp which you did not break; the fish you did not spill; and the carpet that you did not wet; or the wall that you did not dirty with red paint...

Things here at the house are calmer now, and just to show you that I have no hard feelings towards you, I am sending you a picture, so you will always remember me.

Best regards, The Cat"

The Old French root of the word "repent" is "repentir," which actually means to be sorry. The cat may have said he was sorry, but there is no sorrow here.

We need to learn how to make a good apology-- one that is sincere and honest. One that gets the job done. Offering a good apology is not something many people do well. But we can learn as I found out this morning.

It is well said that a good apology has three parts: I am sorry; it is my fault; what can I do to make it right?

I am sorry. Three short words that, when they are heart-felt, can be most difficult to say. But when uttered, they can change lives.

It is my fault. No excuses. No blame. Psychologist Carl Jung insightfully said, ‘The only person I cannot help is one who blames others.’ When we accept a fault, we have the power to do something about it. When we pass the blame, we are helpless to keep it from happening again.

What can I do to make it right? Unless we change something, nothing changes. A good apology is followed by action. Otherwise, it is only words!

If you are going to apologize, apologize well. Never ruin your apology with an excuse!

And you feel good after that, as I did find out..!

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