This past year, I got a voicemail from a friend of a friend who I don’t normally speak to on the phone. When I pressed play, I heard this person saying negative, ugly, hurtful things about someone. She had obviously “butt dialed” me. So, I decided to listen to her conversation. Then I figured out who she was talking about. It was our mutual friend.
I immediately texted her and told her I had heard her conversation and to please stop her horrible conversation if it was still going on.
A few days later, I got an apology. An honest email in which she owned up to what she did and said, and she said she was embarrassed and sorry.
Watching the news the last few days, I am outraged. The fact that this Paula Deen incident has ruined her career is ridiculous. If you read the story, she admits to saying a terrible word years ago. Possibly more than one time when she was young and prejudice was rampant where she lived at the time. And then she apologized. If you see her on the news, you know she is really and truly sorry.
This is a country that forgives the unforgivable. We forgave Clinton and Schwartzenneger and Martha Stewart. We just elected Marc Sandford again. Our criminal justice system found Michael Jackson and Casey Anthony not guilty and they are deciding right now if George Zimmerman is not guilty by acknowledging that he’s sorry and made a bad judgment call based on ignorance and confusion.
We rightfully rejoiced yesterday at the victory of gay marriage, but we still are forced to watch as many more socioeconomic and racial groups are forced to deal with laws based on bias and prejudice.
We forgive those who created racist laws in the South because they didn’t know any better. And we will forgive the idiots who banned gay marriage.
Why do we do all these things? Because of the power of an honest apology. The power of owning up to a mistake in judgment is enormous. We are still mad at Lance Armstrong because no one believes he’s really sorry.
We want to teach our kids about tolerance and fairness, while acknowledging that if you do make a mistake, you take responsibility for it and apologize.
In heading towards Sam’s final show tonight, I can tell you that, since Jan.1, there have been two elements in my life that have been very disturbing; people who have caused myself and my family enormous stress. I have not spoken of them on this blog, because I have been waiting for an apology.
I know I won’t get one from either party, as they do not have the ability to see how their actions affect others. They do not have the insight that Paula Deen or Hugh Grant or Bill Clinton did.
In The Addams Family, another theme is that it is ok to make a mistake as long as you admit your error and apologize. This is especially true if no one was physically hurt and the mistake was based on misinformation or confusion or incorrect beliefs.
I know that our family has learned so much from this experience and I hope that one day the rest of the world will too.