Friday, July 31, 2009

Why Is Apologizing Such a Big Deal??

Now I'm talking primarily about President Obama, but I must say that this question has come up in my life many times.

My birth family was very good at apologizing.  Course, we're all a bunch of hotheads so there were plenty of opportunities to practice. LOL  But we DID apologize.  It was an expectation.  If you blew up at somebody, or said something without thinking, or even accidentally hurt someone with your words, you apologized.  We were taught that apologizing was what decent people did.  It was the right thing to do.  I guess rather than criticizing others who were not taught so well, maybe I should focus more on being grateful that, usually, apologizing is something I do not find difficult.

OK,  that being said, why on Earth has Barak Obama not apologized for saying that Officer Crowley (of the "beer summit") had "acted stupidly?"  He has said he regrets having said that.  Well OF COURSE he regrets it.  He's been widely criticized for the remark. 

And, he even said he had miscalibrated his words.  Oh please, Mr. President.  Was this about calibration of words?  (interesting new use of the word calibrate, btw)

Without weighing in on whether or not racial profiling was involved, or whether or not his friend was wrong, he could so easily say the following:

"I want to apologize to Officer Crowley and all law enforcement officers.  My remark showed insensitivity to the dangers and challenges of the job.  I very much regret having said it and I am sorry."

Is it because people feel that an apology makes them vulnerable?  I guess, in a way, it does.  And for those growing up in certain homes an apology might indeed be unsafe.

But if President Obama made even an apology like the one I have suggested, I think he could only gain.  People respect an apology.  The willingness to admit one made a mistake (and not just a mistake of calibration, whatever that means) shows character.  It shows personal strength and leadership.  I think President Obama has been hurt by the whole episode and his response to it.


Suzanne said...

He doesn't seem to know what being humble is and if he does, he isn't going to make any practice of it. Proud and arrogant are the things that I most often witness with regards to his comments on everything. I do not feel badly saying this..I am making a judgement on actions from his mouth. I don't foresee it changing.

Mimi said...

I agree - one of the things that I never liked about the former president was that he never apologized. I admire someone who says, "you know what? I messed up and I'm sorry"

It is something that I try to do in my life, and something that I think that regular confession helps with, don't you?

Anonymous said...

I totally agree. He should have said " I am sorry" As Catholics we are taught to apologize from little up so that when it comes to the ' BIG ISSUES ' we can ask for forgivness.

It's too bad Mr Obama was not taught the same :(

Gail said...

The ability to say, "I'm sorry" is vital to our development.
It was interesting watching the morning news, and I thought that the police officer and Professor Gates both looked terribly uncomfortable during the so-called "Beer Summit." It was also clear that no apoologies were made.
In the same vein, I found it interesting when "The New York Times" published a picture of one of the Obama girls sans shoes in the limo after visiting Pope Benedict. The caption noted that, "yes, she did wear shoes to meet the Pope." Totally inappropriate! I didn't see a picture of the Pope and the Obamas on the paper's front page, which would have been acceptable.
Chalk it all up to the liberal media.

Rosemary Bogdan said...

Yeah, I think we all sort of see this the same way. Mimi, yes, regular Confessions definitely helps. And regular Confession makes going to Confession easier too. (smile) I think, in general, it's rare to hear a politician apologize. Although I think President Obama did apologize to the journalist he called "sweetie."