Friday, June 10, 2011

Don't say sorry - don't do it in the first place

I used to have a colleague who used to say: ’Just do it. You can always asked for forgiveness afterwards.’ The statement normally received a laughter from around the table and encouraged the one or the other to go ahead. I found it just disturbing.
However, I have to admit, I have acted on this disturbing statement myself. 
If one really makes a mistake, it is truly important to say sorry and I am not promoting anything else. But how about not making the mistake in the first place? You might think now 'that is exactly the whole point about saying sorry. We are fallible - we are humans.'
Most situations on a daily basis are not about the so called ‘big’ rights and wrongs like murder, stealing or betrayal. Most of our decisions are small and banal including those once about doing the right or wrong things.
Small lies to get sympathy and to not look bad – ‘I am late because there was so much traffic and I am really stressed out’ when in true fact I just left late. Being impatient and harsh to someone to get results instead of considering the other person. ‘This needs to happen this way, because I know I am right’– never mind other approaches or other people's feelings.
Even though in movies the big dramatic forgiveness scenes have something nice – I would still say: ‘Don’t do it in the first place’ – Just give it a second thought before going ahead with what you are doing. Yes, most friendships and relationships have something called a ‘grace and forgiveness cushion’ but every time it gets used it wears and tears. Each time you have to say sorry, it leaves a stain on the relationship. Once the cushion is full of wholes or worn up – it is hard to know if you will ever be able to repair it again.

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