Sheryl Sandberg in ‘Option B’, spoke to the fact that there was a point during her period of acute grief when she was apologizing for everything to everyone…..As I read that, It reminded me of a recent experience with a friend. She had the courage to ask me what I was sorry for, on one occasion when I said “I am sorry” out of context. It then struck me that I involuntarily and regularly apologize out of turn, out of place and for no apparent reason……I had to fix that.
As I ruminated, I realized too that I tend to say “thank you” in the same way and its not that I don’t know better……..but I seem to live in a world of gratitude and apology overkill. I grew up with my grandmother constantly telling us “manners carry yuh thru the worl”……., although at the time I had no idea what she meant by that. I took that to heart undoubtedly, as I found and still do, that in the instances when I don’t say ” thank you, please, hello, excuse me, you are welcome, good morning…..” its because I choose to be impolite, stubborn and rude. And it doesn’t feel good.
My thoughts on the matter were punctuated by questions such as… Are there specific/appropriate instances for saying ” I am sorry or thank You?” When we say “I am sorry” because we feel overly dependent, or feel that we are a burden…….. is it rational? Are these just relics of the past? And why does it become a platitude or why do they lose value if they are repeated too often? But then why are you frowned upon when they are not said at all?
Are there cultural differences and rules? Thus are ” no worries, sounds good, for sure, sounds like a plan, et al ” suitable alternatives?
As I introspect, I think of Paul and what he said at Romans 13 v 8………….and I got my answers……for love is one of the most nebular terms I know and is the underpinning of trust and respect on which relationships are built. So isn’t it the irony of all ironies………that in our very impersonal, idealistic, selfish and individualistic world Facebook, Twitter, Snap Chat, Instagram etc…are such big successes? And why do we need numerous research to tell us how to create employee engagement and grow sales when those are the very simple, honest-to-goodness things our grandmothers taught us?