“I’m Sorry”….yeah right

With scandals, specifically sports scandals coming left and right, I always tend to shake my head at these alleged apologies. Michael Vick is sorry, Marion Jones is sorry, Bill Belichick is sorry… and the list goes on. The question remains, “Can you really be sorry after you get caught?” I’m starting to think not. An apology is “an acceptance of responsibility for a wrong, plus a pledge to change one’s ways” (definition by J. E. Brown). To me, accepting responsibility for a wrong is a little different from accepting that fact that you can’t lie your way out of guilt any longer. The main thing that gets me is the adamant denial that these people display in defense of their actions. Even the ones who come clean when they are confronted with evidence; the fact that it took them getting caught leads to the thought that they would have kept doing the action otherwise.


The main problem is that apologies in today’s society is that people approach apologies the same way they approach criminal trials; with an innocent-till-proven-guilty mentality. If you can’t prove it then there is nothing to be sorry for, right? (Hence the sarcasm).Then there is the “political apologies.” You know the ones where you simple say the words and put on the “show” to please whoever was being wronged (more out of obligation than sincerity). We see this often with children when parents force their kids to apologize to others to whom they’ve done wrong. It establishes the habit of knowing that you have to apologize when you’ve been caught or “told on.” The thought being that eventually the sincerity will come with maturity, though it rarely does because if it did then we wouldn’t be seeing the same thing among grown folks today.


More often than not, I tend to give most people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to apologies…..well at least for the first offense. I do realize that the most natural reaction for getting caught is to deny, deny, deny. So I do give credit to those who can come clean, take responsibility, and apologize. Well, I’m “sorry” for writing this long blog :)


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