Tuesday, March 19, 2013


“Sorry” is a commonly used word by many of us to apologize for what we said / did (intentional / unintentional) and the outcome / consequence were “negative” in more than one way. So we feel apologetic about the way in which our words or deeds affected an individual, circumstance or outcome and end up saying SORRY.

* For many of us, saying SORRY is never easy – Whether or not we are at fault.
* For many of us, saying SORRY is very easy – In spite of what kind of impact we’ve had on others lives.
* For many of us, saying SORRY is circumstantial – So if we believe we are at fault, then we have the courage to say sorry or if we believe Sorry will help a critical / life-changing situation we say sorry (even if we are not at fault). But if it’s not our doing, then we don’t say sorry…

But the more important question is “Can a SORRY really undo EVERYTHING?”

Let me explain with a few examples:

1) Case of domestic violence within the four walls – Wives beating husbands / Husbands beating wives. One / Both end up physically bruised, emotionally battered and mentally disturbed.
And then saying SORRY. Can a SORRY undo what was thought, said, did, felt and experienced during that tough moment?

2) Case of politicians misusing national funds / national resources – Politicians siphoning off public funds for personal gains / luxuries / vanity.
And then saying SORRY. Can a SORRY undo the impact of what economic disparity eventually breeds in the society, in the minds of people?

3) Case of doctors misleading / misguiding patients – Doctors exaggerating / underplaying the medical diagnosis OR providing wrong medication / advice OR not providing timely medical intervention.
And then saying SORRY. Can a SORRY undo the impact of a doctor’s misdeed – Be it a lifelong disability, death or even temporary inconvenience and agony of the patient and immediate loved ones?

4) Case of child abuse – Adults physically abusing children.
And then saying SORRY. Can a SORRY undo the physical, mental, and emotional scars that will stay with the child for a lifetime?

5) Case of teachers ill-treating / humiliating / imparting “wrong morals / values / teachings / behavior / lessons” to students in the most impressionable years of their life.
And then saying SORRY. Can a SORRY undo the lifelong impact of these learning’s?

6) Cases of organizations / institutions discriminating between individuals – based on gender, background, financial standing, ethnicity, social status, or power of authority, etc.
And then saying SORRY. Can a SORRY undo the deep mental and emotional agony that an individual went through as a consequence of public discrimination?

7) Case of you cheating those who trust you profoundly / someone you trust in good faith cheating you – Be it in business or in your personal life.
And then saying SORRY. Can a SORRY help re-gain the trust that was built over years?

8) Case of you passing a “character judgment” on someone / someone passing judgment on your “character.”
And then saying SORRY . Can a SORRY help undo the personal reputational damage because of this character assassination?

9) Case of an individual or organization not honoring a personal / professional commitment.
And then saying SORRY. Can a SORRY reverse the potential impact (monetary and otherwise) of the missed commitments – Not to mention the heightened stress levels due to this delay?
I have intentionally given a diverse range of examples – one / many of which you would have definitely experienced in your own life.

The most important question is again – “Can a SORRY really UNDO everything?”

The answer is NO – Simply because in some instances the very words / deeds have created an “irreparable damage” in someone’s life; which is unpardonable.

So what are those situations in which a SORRY really not does help!
A) When one’s self-confidence is ebbed
Self-confidence is one of the most important attribute that determines the course and choices in your life. If one’s self-confidence is diminished by another’s words / deeds, it usually has a deep long-lasting impact; and that impact is usually for life. Saying SORRY cannot undo this impact or help revive one’s self-confidence. And it usually takes eons to regain self-confidence.

2) When one’s self-respect is tattered
Self-respect defines you in more than one ways – In terms of how you view yourself, how you view the world, how the world views you and how the world reacts & responds to you. And so if one’s self-respect is tattered, it has a huge impact in your life in more than one way. And usually, it takes a significant amount of time, conscious effort and environmental support, assurance and re-enforcement to revive your own self-respect.

3) When one’s basic human emotions are numbed
When your words / actions numb a basic human emotion (for e.g. joy, anger, fear, etc.) in an individual, something dies within! And usually one becomes stoned for life, that is, one reaches a stage when some things just do not matter anymore! In such scenarios, saying SORRY really has no meaning or relevance. It is usually very hard to revive such human emotions even over a lifetime.

4) When one’s dreams are shattered
We all have dreams – For some it is the dreams, which keep them awake at day, and for some it is the dreams, which keep them awake at night. And dreams really help us create “make believe worlds” for ourselves in which every human imagination can be translated into reality. When your dreams are shattered, then your personal and precious “make believe world” (which in many instances was probably the only shining and guiding star of your life) is engulfed in darkness. And then no matter what anyone says or does, it does not really help. A SORRY cannot bring back your shattered dream.

5) When one’s hopes are diffused
The real world is filled with constraints, challenges, trials, and tribulations. And if there’s one thing that takes us through the many lows of life – It is our hopes – hope for good health, hope for wealth, hope for rainbows, hope for peace and harmony, hope for happiness, hope for lasting relationships, hope for fulfilling life experiences, hope for a better tomorrow. And if one’s hopes about themselves, life, future, people and society are diffused, then there’s little meaning to what you can expect and wish for. And SORRY cannot bring back diffused hopes.

Ending Words of Wisdom
It’s better not to be in a situation when you have to say SORRY because your words or actions triggered one / more of the above.

And one of the easiest ways to achieve this is to pause before you say / do anything and ask yourself how you would feel if someone did / said this to you!

What's your view? Leave a comment to let me know...

Originally published @ http://arkarthick.com/2012/09/26/can-a-sorry-undo-everything/ ; Edited and re-published here

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