No Apology Necessary

6 04 2016

I walk fast. I get that from my mom. I am not in a hurry; it’s just how I move. This week, at the gym, two different people apologized to me because I had to break stride for them.


First, they have as much right to the real estate in the Y as I do. Second, they were not mindlessly blocking my path; they moved slowly because they could not move fast. They sported old impressive scars and used canes. I think it’s great that they show up and fight for every bit of good health they can claim. I am happy to see them. It is no inconvenience for me to slow down for a moment; it is my privilege. There was no reason for them to apologize.

While we were on vacation, we had a long car ride with a very unhappy toddler. His mother apologized with every wail of her poor inconsolable boy.


She had done nothing to cause the disturbance to others. There was nothing she could do to mitigate her son’s discomfort. We were merely subjected to a decibel level well below that we experience from our earbuds; we simply could not choose the song at that moment. She was tired and harried and doing her best. The little man was the one who was having the hard time. There was no reason for her to apologize.

I used to drum my fingers on my steering wheel and huff and puff and shake my head when someone did not react immediately to the green light or s-l-o-w-e-d d-o-w-n to make a turn. Now, I remind myself that these people are not trying to inconvenience me. Perhaps the person who was not quick to hit the gas when that signal changed was preoccupied with some weighty personal issue. That driver who crawled around the turn might be chauffeuring someone who’s not feeling well or might be experiencing trouble with their car.

I’m pretty darned sure it’s not all about me.

I should just get over my self-important self.

Many of us seem to feel we must apologize for everything that is not perfect in life, whether or not we have any influence in the situation. I suspect it’s because we know we get worked up over perceived slights and inconveniences, so others surely feel that toward us. Shame on us for that!

Since we all do seem to say “Sorry” far too often, here are my personal apology guidelines:

  1. Did you eat that last chocolate chip cookie I was dreaming of all the way home from work?


  1. Did you erase last week’s episode of my favorite show without asking me if I’d seen it yet?


  1. Did you sneak onto my Facebook page and post a snarky comment as me?

Apologize. (unless it was funny and got lots of likes. In that case, High Five!)

If you did not do one of these things – if you were not unkind, dangerous, or mean – no apology necessary.





6 responses

6 04 2016

I thought you were saving that cookie for me! Do I get an apology? LOL!!!!

6 04 2016

As soon as I wash down the crumbs, Teddi.

6 04 2016




6 04 2016

Thank you, Dear Maria. I love you, too.

7 04 2016

Great post – well I love them all but don’t always comment! Thanks. xx

7 04 2016

Thank you, Lin.

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