Lessons learnt from Apology
“To forgive or not, that is a question.”
It reminded me of an unflattering experience. When I was 14, one day when I walked myself home. There stood a man in my way, he was my club mate. He greeted me, asked me if I had time to help him deal with a problem. I said yes and followed him to the staircase. This place was seldom-used, for the dusts spread everywhere; the light is doomed, brooms put at the corner. At first, I thought he might have found a couple of stray kittens, so I asked him where the kittens were. He didn’t reply.
Instead, he threw my bags and stuffs aside, and started to finger my butt, waist and chest. I pushed him away, but didn’t succeed. He whispered thickly near my left ear, wanting me to have sex with him. He said that he liked me so much; he planned this for months and finally succeeded trapping me. I said: NO! He took out a knife and put it on my neck. He said nothing, but his behavior already said everything. I could felt the cold blaze wiggle on my skin. Within one second, all the strength to fight against terror had gone. I felt that I was totally helpless, alone, standing myself in front of a gigantic beast. No one came for help. I could only count on myself. I stared at him with all my anger. He stopped with confused eyes. Suddenly, he gathered his wits, and apologized to me with an overwhelming tone, he said that he was sorry for the evil deeds, and he hoped that I could forgive him.
The very next day, he tried every possible way to contact me, just wanting to express how sorry he was. He found that it didn’t work. Whenever I stood in front of him, I remained silent as if I were dead. To some degrees, I was. Finally, he lost his temper, yelling at me: “I apologized to you anyway! Or what else can I do? Shall I buy an advertisement or keel down to beg? ”
I swear, if I stayed any longer, I would do anything to hurt him at any cost. A couple of weeks later, I wrote a letter to him, telling him what I thought:
I forgive, for the sake of love and self-sacrifice; I refuse to forgive, because of self-protection. I said, “How could you justify your own behavior so easily and blamed me for not able to forgive?”
Should I be responsible for forgiving?
IWhen making mistakes, people tend to feel guilty and ashamed, and they tried to explain; something got out of control, someone acted unexpectedly that makes me misbehaved. Nevertheless, these explanations hurt again. Why can’t they just shut up, swallow their pride and accept that they are wrong?
The true meaning of apology doesn’t stop at verbal part, but something deeper. To me, the healing process is like a marathon, took me a long period to help myself; and other people to regain confidence. I learned that, making mistakes is like external impact, disturbing the steadiness of a relation, and both sides to readjust in further.
Bear the insecurity and open to all possible results without old grievance, respect the other, no matter what his/her decision might be. Friendship continues or breaks, it should be taken up. It reminds me to apologize with serious attitude and appropriate manners. And I learned to see the meaning behind the wounds. Ten-year-long mental struggling and reflection, I finally say it out.
At the end of 2013, it’s by far the most precious lesson I learned from fate. I thank it, for having me I thank fate for letting me accept the past, I no longer regard it as shame but a part of me. That’s what I want to share with you tonight. We might fall prey to taking the bravery by default, or fall of victims to e apologized. Both sides have something to learn and do. It’s only the beginning…
Toastmasters of the Evening.