The Forgotten Art of Apologizing

My three year old loves Daniel Tiger and frankly, so do I. There’s no violence, sexual innuendoes and each episode includes a life lesson  wrapped in a catchy tune. The other day, we were watching Daniel Tiger and the lesson of day was saying sorry. According to Daniel Tiger’s mom, saying sorry is only the first step. To fully rectify the situation, we have to ask, how can we help? I think this is a lesson many of us have forgotten, myself very much included. We do malicious things or say hurtful words to our friends and loved ones and when confronted, say sorry and expect to be immediately forgiven. Its a familiar scene: you muster up the courage to tell your friend how their comment hurt you, they say sorry, then five seconds later, asks if you’re still mad. Of course I’m still mad! Saying sorry does not relieve the anguish – it’s just the beginning! To complete the apology, we have to ask how can we help make it better? This may include confronting a third party, paying for a damaged object, adjusting our attitude, having some quality time, or picking up the tab after a round (or two) or drinks. In most cases, the perpetuator knows what needs to be done (if you don’t, ask); the hard part is following thru. But an apology is nothing without the after action. So the next time you slip up and find yourself apologizing, remember the words from a very wise tiger and ask how can I help?

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