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An Apology is worth a Thousand Thanks

Updated on June 6, 2008

How many times do we say Thanks in a busy day involving interactions with fellow-beings? Ten times? Fifteen times? More?

If you are a polite person, by nature or by self-discipline, you are apt to convey your gratitude by saying Thanks even if you are responding to a very small act of kindness or a thoughtful gesture. It may be as simple as an act of someone picking up an object that you accidentally dropped and returning it to you with a smile; a friend fetching you a cup of coffee; a colleague filling you in with details of a meeting that you missed; your daughter packing sandwiches for your lunch at work. Such gestures certainly deserve smiling notice and heartfelt acknowledgement, and perhaps more. These kindnesses and their grateful recognition underscore the magnanimity and humanity that reside in us.

In contrast to our ready expression of gratitude, how do we fare in situations when we feel the need to say Sorry? Do we say Sorry every time we feel the need to say Sorry? There could be several reasons why we hesitate, stall, argue with ourselves rather than admit that we have erred and been in the wrong and in the process hurt, belittled, discouraged or even humiliated someone.

Why does saying Sorry take a bigger effort than saying Thanks?

Unlike Thanks, beyond which one usually says little else by way of clarity or explanation, saying Sorry never seems enough.

Thanks is light and breezy, whereas Sorry is usually pregnant. Repentant, we feel that something more has to be said but can't readily find the right words. We so much want to repair the hurt and bring the relationship back to its original cordiality and pleasantness, but afraid of complicating matters. Would we seem small in someone's eyes when we apologise for a mistake? Would we feel small by saying Sorry?

It's here that the other person, to whom one owes an apology, who can make it all simple - receive the quivering-at-the-lips Sorry graciously, symbolize its acceptance by a hug or squeeze of the hand, and say wordlessly that nothing more need be said.

If Thanks is a courteous affirmation of humanity, Sorry is a courageous celebration of it.


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    • vaidy19 profile image

      vaidy19 8 years ago from Chennai, India

      Thanks 2patricias for a beautiful response - the way you interpret is so lucid and inspiring.


    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Just caught up with this Hub - great stuff. All these little words are acknowledgements of our humanity - and show a willingness to work with others to enjoy each day.

      It's so easy to only concentrate on oneself...

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      If Thanks is a courteous affirmation of humanity, Sorry is a courageous celebration of it.

      I just love it. It says all its supposed to.

      great hub Vaidy regards Zsuzsy

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      oh aren't you sweet..well thank you my dear and many more hugs to come...G-Ma :o) hugs

    • vaidy19 profile image

      vaidy19 9 years ago from Chennai, India

      Thanks Solarshingles.

      G-Ma, You know what, that Hug bit towards the end of my hub is your inspiration. I can't ever think of hugs without thinking of you, and vice versa.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      oh my oh have hit me in a soft spot...and is so good to hear you again.

      I believe that..everything that annoys us about others...can help us to understand ourselves...but that is different than an apology I guess?

      The very best we can give each other is our Love....Not our advice, and certainly not our judgement.

      you are a dear :o) hugs

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 9 years ago from london

      Simply beautiful! Thanks Vaidy19!