Just Say You’re Sorry!

http://www.orkutscraps.co.uk/graphics/orkut-sorry-scraps/index3.phpDuring my travels back East, my brother and I treat my mom to a dinner out – just the three of us – a rare occurrence. But on the way to the restaurant, my brother’s car is rear-ended – hard – as he yields to a car in oncoming traffic.

I scream (embarrassing, yes, a girly scream, but I’m sitting in the back seat and my head bobbles like a linebacker hit on both sides).

My brother does the manly thing – he curses, loudly and emphatically.

I can’t quote him, because this is a G-rated blog, or at least PG. But his expletives are descriptive enough that I worry for the other driver, who begins to unfold his tall, lean body out of his car.

I can’t tell how much damage there is, but I’m most worried that my brother’s much-loved auto is scratched/bent/harmed, and our special dinner with our mom is ruined.

I hold my breath. Usually my younger sibling (by 18 months) behaves with well-tempered patience, but when he gets pushed too far…well, things can get ugly.

My mom and I stare straight ahead, still seated in the car, while my brother and the other man inspect both vehicles.

Voices raise. With eyes closed, Mom squeaks out – “Are they arguing? What’s going on?”

I listen closely, still not turning around to actually view the scene.

“No. They’re talking in a civilized tone,” I whisper, puzzled.

“But what’s the noise?” she asks, fearfully

“Um, they’re chuckling…?”

Gently opening his car door, my brother sits back down in the driver’s seat with a small smile on his face.

“What did the guy say?” I wonder out loud.

As if in partial shock, my bro states: “As soon as I climbed out of the car, the guy says, ‘I’m sorry – it’s all my fault.’ ”

The three of us sit still, stunned.

No one acknowledges fault these days. In this litigious world, we are all grilled to NEVER SAY YOU’RE SORRY or admit fault. Never.

My brother’s car is moving us along now to dinner. Bro’s face is clear and happy, and I don’t think just because his car’s bumper saved him from a crashed and ugly fenderbender.

I think he’s smiling because the guy who hit him immediately took credit for the crash, shook hands, and said, “whatever the cost, I’ll take care of it.”

Life is full of fender benders. How we respond to them, – that’s what really counts in the long run.

After dinner, Mom with her two "kids."

After dinner, Mom with her two “kids.”

28 thoughts on “Just Say You’re Sorry!

  1. Hear! Hear!

    I learned this rule from my old newspaper editor who dealt with complaints all the time. He threw out (sincere) apologies like candy from a parade float. I was amazed by how much power the word held. A “sorry” gives an angry person permission to stop being angry.

  2. Wow, what a brilliant example of the power of genuine apology, and you built us up to expect something else. This really hit home, I was quite moved actually…and I’m guessing there’s more happy ending, and the three of you had a lovely meal? Great stuff:-)

  3. Love it when we own what we do. It is a practice for some, a way of life for others, but for those find ownership in their actions, both good and not so good, are rewarded with a clear mind, an open heart and more peace in their lives. IMO 🙂

  4. Another awesome blog dearest Pam!!! I agree that people don’t say they are sorry enough in today’s world! Me…I probably say I’m sorry too much…if that is at all possible!!!! Looking forward to your next blog with lots of enthusiasm dearest friend!!! God bless!!!!

  5. This is lovely, Pam. I was holding my breath but let it out in delicious relief. How hard it can be to say “I’m sorry”. Sometimes we’re holding out for the other person to say it first. How magnanimous when we can say it first with sincerity.

  6. So agree! If I’m in the wrong, I want to be the one to say, “I screwed up.” Also what ticks me off is people “apologizing” but adding an excuse, like it wasn’t really their fault. If I apologize, I do it sincerely, no excuses. And hang the lawyers!

    • Yeah, the worse apology is when it begins, “I’m sorry, BUT…” Ugh, that just doesn’t count.

      No BUT(heads) allowed!!!

      (Thanks for sharing my post on your Facebook page.)

      • When I apologize the only additional comment I might make is something like, “I was stupid,” or “I was insensitive,” or such like. And I’m sincere. You are welcome for the share.

  7. Yaaa.. its always important to be sorry whenever its our own fault.. Sorry not by words, but by heart.. So that it pleases opposite person to. Nice part you have shared.. It was a learning in fact.

  8. sorry to take so long to comment but I had to let my imagination go for a while…I choose Matt Damon and Ben Affleck…a dynamic duo from Boston!

  9. That’s a great story! Better than the ones on the headlines we suffer through every day -wouldn’t it be nice to see the news anchor start the evening off with a story like this one? 🙂
    Bet mom was proud!

  10. My brother is also 18 months younger than I am, Pam. I think the best thing we have are lots of memories where we spent time together in opposite areas. Let me explain. He played cornet in marching band and trumpet in orchestra. I played in the woodwinds section in both bands. He would let me ride on his handlebars on the way to middle school band in the summertime. We dated each other’s friends, he always drove on double dates. Yay, for dark and dates in back seats.
    It was so nice to see you, your Mom and your brother! Thank goodness for the honest man who admitted his mistake. Accidents happen, how we handle them makes all the difference. Peace! ❤

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