This Trump predicament over John McCain’s heroism. It reminds me of one of the strongest forces in human nature. It may not be such a force for you. Because you are perfect. For most of the rest of us, however, it is a power.
The force is the one which resists apology. Apologizing. Admitting we screwed up. Or mis-spoke. Or did something without thinking.
Media types and politicians clamor for The Donald to apologize. After they claim he said John McCain was not a war hero. Trump claimed otherwise. My point is that the whole issue would have dissolved if Trump had merely apologized. “If anyone mis-interpreted what I said and feels I questioned John McCain’s heroism, I apologize.”
The power that keeps people from apologizing is fierce. The Japanese have found it so difficult to apologize for Pearl Harbor. And for atrocities they committed in WWII. Some German governments could not apologize for what they did to Jews.
Countries have allowed genocide within their borders. They cannot officially bring themselves to apologize. It will be a steaming New Years in Siberia before the Russians apologize for Stalin exterminating millions. The Chinese will apologize for Mao’s atrocities when Peoria acquires nuclear weapons.
Think how many standoffs could be resolved. With simple apologies. “Hey, I’m sorry for what I said. I didn’t realize it would upset you so much.”
Marriage counselors work overtime to get couples to lay down their verbal weapons. In favor of apologies. “I didn’t realize my behavior offended you so much. I apologize for being so insensitive.”
Think how many friendships are snuffed out. For no other reason that one or both parties won’t apologize.
How many kids no longer speak to a parent or parents? You must know some. Do you think maybe some of those estrangements might be resolved? If only kid or mom or dad would apologize?
How often have you read about killers who refuse to express remorse? They refuse to apologize to families of people they killed. How strong the force that keeps them from doing so.
Richard Nixon might have seen the dogs of Watergate called off. If he had apologized to the people. Early in the mess. Instead he engaged in endless cover-ups and intrigues. Which lay down a scent for the hounds. Maybe all he had to say was “Hey, some idiots did some sleuthing that was stupid. When I heard about it I should have smashed it. I apologize for not doing so.”
President Obama could probably lift his numbers with a few apologies. “I mis-led you about many aspects of ObamaCare. I sincerely apologize for doing so.”
President Clinton could have admitted a few sexual mistakes. And apologized. Instead, he refused. And lied to a grand jury. And got impeached, lost his law license, etc.
Tiny New Zealand set an example many of us would do well to follow. Many countries. Many companies. Many individuals.
New Zealand has a magnificent mountain. The Pakehas (whites) called it Mt. Egmont. The native Maoris called it Taranaki. The New Zealand government claimed it as a national park. The Maoris claimed it as a sacred site.
In 1978 they collaborated on a great idea. The government admitted the mountain belonged to the Maori. It vested ownership of it to the Maori. In return, the Maori gifted it to the nation. Everybody saved face.
They turned a mountain into a molehill. By refusing to apologize we so often do the opposite.
I will lead the way. I humbly apologize to you for whatever upset my writing may have caused you.
From Tom...as in Morgan.