Dear Editor,
“Right actions in the future are best apologies for bad actions in the past”, says Tryon Edwards, an American theologian, minister of the Second Congregational Church in New London, Connecticut from 1845 to 1857. It is literally true. Oxford Dictionary defines apology as “a regretful acknowledgment of an offence or failure or a formal expression of regret”. It also includes “justification or defence”. The word ‘apology’ is commonly used for expression of regret. Apology is tendered by saying ‘sorry’ also. The disturbed state of mind can be soothed and the anger can be defused when a wrong done intentionally or unintentionally is undone. Apology tendered voluntarily has more soothing effect than the apology tendered under duress. Apology tendered voluntarily serves as a bridge for good relationship and friendship. But when apology is tendered under duress, it would be an apology tendered to overcome the difficult situation for the time being with a grudge to settle personal score when the opportunity comes. P.G. Wodehouse, an English Writer and one of the most widely read humorists of the 20th century says “It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them”. There can be no occasion for anyone who has not apologized in his life either voluntarily or under compulsion. Mistakes happen. Apology is not needed when a mistake done does not affect the other. If the mistake affects the other, the matter ends with apology tendered to the affected person or with a punishment to the offender. If both of them do not happen, bitterness takes the seat between the two parties. Courts accept the apologies tendered to court and to the other party resulting in the closure of the case. Many cases have been closed in the courts when apologized for the mistakes done by one against the other. Benjamin Disraeli, British Statesman and two times Prime Minister of UK says “Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for truth”. Apologizing for truth is like apologizing to God. Everybody is subordinate to truth. Apology comes when truth is hidden and when the hidden truth comes out. “The truth is not always beautiful nor beautiful words the truth”, says Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. It is said half-truth is whole lie. An apology without change is manipulation or an attempt to hoodwink the person to whom the apology is tendered. “Changed behaviour is only apology”, says Maranda Pleasant, Founder/Editor of 4 National Magazines. The bottom line is that apology in deeds carries more weight than apology in words.

K.V. Seetharamaiah

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