I love a day that presents me the opportunity to be the hero to my family. This morning was just such an opportunity. Usually, my day in my life of family is full of me apologizing. The most used words in my vocabulary are “I’m sorry.” I probably say it 20 times a day, and probably need to say it more.
So when there’s a problem I can deal with quickly and concisely, it makes my day.
This morning, getting ready for work, almost at the stage of eating breakfast, my wife comes down the stairs and tells me that she dropped her earring in the sink and it went down the drain. In 10 minutes, I had it out, and she was all smiles. I ate breakfast quicker, and headed out the door. Pretty simple, right?
Except that most examples I see of something like this end up with a lot of arm swinging, gesticulating, and asking “Why?”. It makes the transgressor seem small. So I just really try not to do it. Later on, we can figure out a way to not allow jewelry to go down the drain, but for now, just getting it out peacefully, quickly, and quietly is good enough.
It even happens on the job, and I think I’ve taught my boss a lesson. I was behind on a project, and in a counseling session, my boss gave me a new delayed deadline, and told me I needed to keep that deadline, or there’d be consequences. In follow-up meetings, my boss (who was really trying to save me from ridicule from higher-ups) kept reminding me about my deadline, and grousing about how I let it slip. In one meeting, I told him “Look, I know I missed the deadline, and at this point, there’s no excuse. I won’t let it slip again. Right now, I’m just trying to deal with the situation.” He appreciated my point.
Turning to politics, though, when the after-effects of incompetance are dire, an attitude of “What difference does it make?” (a la Hillary Clinton on Ben Gazi) isn’t good enough. It requires an “I’m sorry, I was wrong.” These words are sufficient to start the healing,( as is getting the project back on track. When I completed my project on the new deadline, my boss smiles more, and gives me more to do. And I keep my job…), but if they’re left unsaid, so much pain swirls. Those left behind by all the mistakes our government has made lately still require answers. Even if it’s “I’m sorry, I just screwed up.”
This is what reconciliation, the sacrament, is all about. Once you admit your guilt, the healing can begin, and often it does so quite quickly. If President Obama could just say “I’m sorry” about any of his mistakes, I’m sure he’d be a better person, and be seen as a better president. On the longterm issue of Affordable Care (I don’t know where they get these titles-they’re so misleading…The ACA is neither affordable, nor is it about healthcare…) admitting the mistakes of those under his leadership could go a long way.