While playing with her little brother, Alvin accidentally threw the ball on the wall clock which then broke and fell. Listening to the noise of the crash, his mother came and asked what happened. Alvin’s little brother told, “Alvin threw the ball on the clock and it fell.” As mom started shouting at Alvin, he said making a sad face, “Mom, it was by accident. I didn’t mean to break the clock, I am so sorry.” Looking at Allen’s sadness, his mother calmed down and said, “It’s ok dear, no need to get sad. Just try to be a little careful while playing.” As soon as Allen heard this, a big smile came on his face and he started playing again with his brother, showing no signs of being careful.
This was not new, Alvin had developed the habit of saying “sorry” just for the sake of it. Whenever he did something wrong he just apologized to escape the situation, instead of being really sorry for what he had done. For him, apologizing had become a shortcut that he could use to get away after doing something wrong. He did not change his habit and continued to do this again and again.
But this did not go for too long; people around him slowly started realizing what was the true intention that Alvin had when apologizing for a mistake. One day when playing in the garden, Alvin accidentally broke his friend’s remote car. Even previously he had broken a lot of his toys. But this time when he apologized to his friend, the friend said, “You always do this, you have broken a lot of my toys. My dad had bought this for me on my birthday, this time I won’t forgive you.” His friend went and told his parents about Allen’s habit of breaking his toys. His parents went and complained about Allen to his mother. His mother was very upset to hear this and had to apologize for his mistakes. Seeing mom upset, Allen said he was sorry for his behavior, to which his mom said, “You always do this Allen. You will make mistakes and then just say sorry for doing them, but you will never actually be sorry and try to learn from those mistakes and avoid doing them again.” And with this, she went to her room.
After what happened that day and seeing mom very upset, Allen realized where he was going wrong. He realized that saying sorry had indeed become an escape mechanism for him, and that he never really tried to change his behavior. And then, Alvin’s definition of apologising changed completely. From saying “sorry” just to escape the situation, to actually understanding the mistake that he did and working on himself to never make those mistakes again. This change helped Alvinbe a better person in the future.
What we learned
An apology is not just saying sorry for what we did, it is to understand our mistakes and avoid doing them in the future by having an actual and meaningful change.