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News > Commentary: It's never too late to say 'I'm sorry' ... like you mean it
Commentary: It's never too late to say 'I'm sorry' ... like you mean it

Posted 1/18/2011   Updated 1/18/2011 Email story   Print story


by Tech. Sgt. Scott McNabb
24th Air Force Public Affairs

1/18/2011 - LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Remember that time you did that thing and somebody got upset and you felt kind of bad, but just let it run its course and never said a word about it again? There's still time to say you're sorry.

Folks grow up and grow wiser. Family, work and social lives bend and blend over time. Then one person takes another person's parking spot and it's on baby. It's so on...

Sharing, courtesy, thoughtfulness and the golden rule of doing unto others as you would have others do unto you go right out the window and anger and distain rule the moment and maybe the rest of the day.

This didn't happen to me, but it sure happened to someone while I was the embarrassed passenger in the car that took the spot. The driver didn't belong to the Air Force in any way and seemed like a very nice person up to that point. I felt like pulling a George Costanza and saying, "Well the jerk store called, they're running out of you."

We have our agendas. Life can be in fast forward. If we take a moment to reflect on our words and actions, we can make our Air Force family that much stronger. And, yes, we're all capable of saying we're sorry. Sometimes it's not just the right thing to do; it's the only thing to do.

Now, if crow tasted good it might have been served at the first thanksgiving meal. Saying we're sorry can feel humiliating, but man it goes a long way if we really mean it, right? It can build trust and camaraderie and says, "Hey, my bad. I mess up too. We're all human and we're all in this together." A sincere apology is a gift of the heart and a lesson in humility.

Forgiveness, if required, is a whole other matter. It seems to me that acceptance is more important. It is the other side of the draw bridge to make things strong again. But it all starts with, "I'm sorry."

Remember that time you did that thing and it didn't change what happened, but it made everyone involved feel a lot better inside? Let's make that today.

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