The word sorry is synonymous with apology. It is a common familiar word but it is potent and magical in its efficacy. Small insignificant wrongs like bumping accidentally into someone or stepping on someone’s foot elicits a spontaneous even nonchalant apology from the perpetrator. Such superficial apologies reflect a polite well groomed individual but they cannot precisely be categorised as true meaningful apology. Apology with sincerity and remorse and secondly atonement has to ensue.
Both these steps are complementary to each other. A mere articulation of the word divest of sincerity, repentance and atonement is futile and nothing but a charade. Tremendous courage is entailed to face the victim of our wrong doing and apologise. They are the positive conscientious ones who are at peace only after making amends for their misdeeds. Sorry does not cost much, yet achieves much. The mileage of an earnest apology is multifaceted.
The word sorry in itself is imbued with so much potential and power. Within a fraction of a second grave mistakes are diluted, tepid and estranged relations are brought alive, animosity and rancour are dissolved, misunderstanding resolved and tense situation eased out resulting in harmony and rapprochement. With apology we are relieved of guilt and resultant misery. Hence cathartic relief is obtained.
Mustering enough courage to apologise can be a stepping stone for our evolvement and personal expansion. We gain serenity, we get purged and empowered. This can be a major deterrent to untamed ego, social hierarchy, insensitivity and obduracy. Eradicate self justification. Then alone can you annihilate your ego.
Nothing requires more courage than the admission of one’s fault. The disturbance that repentance evokes in our personal and collective psyches, while ruminating over a past wrong or misdeed, is so upsetting that we tend to exhaust every other available choice before we own up. We dread the bold admission that we are in the wrong. Not only individuals but also communities and nations face this dilemma.
Human beings have a double nature capable of great sacrifice and charity and at the same time capable of committing heinous acts. This is because the instinct to do good and the instinct to do bad are intertwined with both positive and negative qualities. We tend to hurt others by our thoughtless and selfish inclinations. There are moments in our lives when we regret our actions and wish we had not done what we had. There would be hardly anyone who has not at sometime or other grappled with feelings of guilt.
In most scriptures, there is a provision of undoing wrongs. But certain wrong like murder cannot be undone. They can only be forgiven. To those who are overburdened with guilt over things that had gone wrong, there is always a way out. God offers a second chance. Even nature will. Spiritual life requires, not to be selfish, greedy or proud and so on. We have the golden rule which lays down that we should do unto other what we expect others to do unto us. And whenever we violate these rules, we become liable for strife, tension and ill health.
Repentance means change, a new beginning, it means starting all over again. Repentance is not behaviour change, it results in behaviour change. Repentance happens in your mind. It brings humility, gratitude and a desire to set things right. Our actions are changed by our hearts, our hearts are changed by our minds and minds are changed by the word of God. Repentance is not a one time experience, it is our constant teacher.