Saying “I’m sorry”

Just before Karen died, she had been reading a book she received as a gift from JoAnn {don’t know who that is} by Rodale Press for Hallmark. It was actually for both of us, but Karen was the reader in the family.

The book was 50 things that really matter.  She didn’t get through all 50 … her last chapter was 32.

This book celebrates 50 of the simple things that really do matter in life. Within its pages are first person stories about the value of conversing over a good cup of coffee, the importance of hugs, the courage of living a simple life, the wisdom in a street musician’s words, the peace and relaxation in watching a candle flame.

I’ve been sharing some of these stories — the first person stories followed by my two cents worth — to encourage you, enlighten you and enrich your soul. But, most of all, I hope they may inspire you to see the real value in life.

This is the latest excerpt from 50 things that really matter.

One day, when I was in college, a shifty-looking character approached me in the student union with a leather jacket he wanted to sell. It was a beuty: buttery smooth cowhide, with artfully stitched seams and long leather fringes. Buffalo Bill Cody would have worn it proudly.

I can’t remember what the price was, but it was obviously too little for such a jacket. Even as I forked over the money, I knew something wasn’t right. Sure enough, a couple days later, the jacket;s real owner, a student about my age, approached me as I was on my way to class.

“That’s my jacket,” he said, “and I want it back.”

“No way,” I answered. “I paid for it and I have no idea if it’s yours. It’s mine.”

He didn’t challenge me, and I left, but the uneasiness I has about my new possession now had a visible face. A few days later, riding my bike across campus, I saw the real owner standing on the sidewalk. I rode over, took the jacket off, handed it to him, said I was sorry and rode off without another word. More than the weight of the jacket had been lifted from my shoulders.

We’re all human, which means that sometimes we do things we shouldn’t do or say things we shouldn’t say. Sometimes we realize too late that our actions have been hurtful to somebody else. When these hard times occur, the best response — the only response, really — is “I’m sorry.”

Owning up, promptly and forthrightly, helps the other person begin to heal. But just as important, it cleanses our own soul and sets us free.

That is a small price to pay for a clear conscience.

Doug Hill, 50 things that really matter, Rodale Press for Hallmark

You read a vignette like that and realize just how much of an impact this little book has. It’s not earth shattering. It’s taking an isolated incident out of history and putting it into a greater perspective. It’s realizing the world doesn’t revolve around me.

Doug may so many key points in so few words. But I think the key was putting a face on the “problem” or “incident.” How many times have we been tempted to do the wrong thing because we don’t or can’t visualize our gain is somebody else’s loss. If I’m “right” then someone else is “wrong.” We have to look that other person in the eye. We have to see the hurt to recognize just how culpable we are in piling on that hurt.

A jacket is just a thing. Doug knew he was getting a “steal” but never considered it was stealing until he saw the original owner.

Two words — “I’m sorry.”  They go a long way in healing — others and ourselves.

Thanks Doug … and thanks JoAnn for sharing 50 things that really matter .

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Sometimes the best thing to get off your chest is your chin.

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About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
This entry was posted in confession, Faith, inspiration, relationships, things that matter and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Saying “I’m sorry”

  1. Pingback: Yana Barus

  2. nominated you for the Most Uplifting Blogger Award. Details on my post dated 12/16

    • Thank you. I am honored. Congratulations to you, too. Like you, I feel I’m just an ordinary guy trying to walk the walk. Are there any requirements?

      • nominate seven blogs that you feel are uplifting and encouraging. Let them know and put their names in a post so that others can see how great they are. Then name seven things you are grateful for. Congratulations, you deserve this.

  3. Pingback: In acknowlegement…. | dearanonymousfriend

  4. chickie12003 says:

    I ❤ this story! So many people now a days are in too much of a hurry to stop and really think about their words/actions that have effects on others. So it makes it that much more difficult for them to say the simple words, "I'm sorry". I hope more people read this and take the time to think about it the next time they do something that's unkind to another person. Whether it be a complete stranger or someone they know and love!

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