I have never heard my father utter the words “I’m sorry”. My father apologises to no one. And everyone loves my dad (except for men who try to court me, but that’s a different story for another time, another place, another hospital). This got me wondering…
How can someone who *apparently* admits no guilt bring people so much joy and earn their genuine respect?
Simply put, my father lives in a world in which apologies are not an option for him. That forces him to keep his word, to be on time, to always make the effort. If my mother is reading this, then doing the dishes or taking the trash out doesn’t count (I got your back, dad. You know my bank account number). He adopted a mental system in which he denies himself the privilege of saying “I’m sorry”. Why is this awesome? Because if he does not deliver, he can’t say “Sorry”, be forgiven and then gradually demean the value placed on his word without realising. Or get desensitised to feeling guilty.
Imagine a world in which apologising is a superpower that you no longer have. What do you do? The only thing you can do. Deliver.
There were many times I was late to things, yet I’ve never missed a flight. Why? Because I can’t just go to the reception desk and say: “Hello, I’m so sorry. I helped a granny cross the road and got even further delayed trying to invent excuses for my poor time management. May I board on the plane that left 30min ago? Pretty please? No? But I am sooo sorry!“. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not late out of disrespect. Most people aren’t. But no more. Must be on time. If I can do it in London, I can do it anywhere.
Speaking of London, I’m done saying “sorry” to people who accidentally, mildly hit me. I’ll just smile instead, I know they didn’t mean to. I’m also not apologising to anyone I accidentally, mildly hit. Instead I’ll try and actually look where I’m going and be aware of how much space I occupy. If a truck driver can estimate the size of all that load behind them, I’m sure I can mind my backpack when leaving the tube. If I accidentally hit someone hard enough to cause some pain, I am especially not apologising because my main concern should not be them not thinking bad thoughts about me, but whether they are okay. So the first thing I say shouldn’t be sorry. It should be, it must be, it has to be “ARE YOU ALRIGHT?”. Unless their face is bleeding, then it’s pretty obvious they’re just begging for attention.
This mentality is my New Year’s resolution. Part of this post is the junk inside my head. The other part is a tribute to people who still love me after being late, cancelling plans and hitting them in the face. I won’t say “I’m sorry”. I’ll just show you a picture from 5 years ago that, up until now, was very private, top secret, not to be shared with anyone (except for my beloved best friend who took it. Love you Viv):
I won’t apologise for breaking my word. And I’ll just…you know, not do that.
Dad, if you’re reading this – thank you for having taught me so many things directly and indirectly. You are awesome. And you also know my sort code.