The tagline of the 1970 schmaltzfest Love Story, starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal, was "Love means never having to say you're sorry." Really? I don't think so.
There is nothing more infuriating, more narcissistic and farther away from true love than the refusal to say sorry. I know a lot of people who consider saying sorry unthinkable, even if they know they are in the wrong and have been proven wrong. Most can't admit to ever being wrong (wow, isn't it exhausting to always be right?). If they are honest enough to feel that on some level, maybe, perhaps, there might be a tiny, itty-bitty, one in a million fraction of a chance that they may have been anything less than 100% right, they still won't say sorry.
Sorry is a sign of weakness, and I am not weak, they will justify. Or they will say, you don't say sorry to your children, unthinkable! It's a cultural thing. It's respect for the elders. You don't say sorry to those younger than you either, or to your employee, it will undermine your authority. You don't say sorry to your spouse, that will give them the "upper hand." And what else is marriage than a continuous keeping score of all the precious "upper hands" accumulated over hundreds and hundreds of meaningless, forgettable and forgotten debates. You certainly don't say sorry to anyone socially, or financially unequal to you. Making more money, or the random chance that you were born earlier, or you changed someone's nappy, or you sign the dotted line on the paycheck, those are all the justifications that give you an unfettered right to always have the last word.
I think the true weakness is the refusal to look honestly inwards, analyze objectively oneself and one's actions, admit where you went wrong and try not to stray down the wrong path again. True weakness is refusal to take responsibility. From the workplace to the home, from friends to lovers to parents and to your own children, I have seen too many refuse to take any responsibility.
I think love means that you do say sorry. Sacrificing one's self-interest and self-love for the sake of giving well-earned satisfaction to another is the ultimate sacrifice and test of true love. What do you think? When is the last time you said you were sorry?
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