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The Concerned Optimist: Apologies, Apologize, Apology


In this double c (and I’m not talking about Chanel) world that is pressed upon us by vile, incompetent, and greedy simpletons, what is holding someone ACCOUNTABLE for their actions has been deemed a firebrand. The double c’s are actually a bad entanglement with alliteration. 

We live in a real world where people and their identities want to breathe. They want to be seen in their literature, onscreen, in song lyrics, on the stage, in their classroom, and everywhere they are present. These people are mostly from vulnerable and underrepresented communities. Therefore, they are holding industries and fellow brethren ACCOUNTABLE. Corporations often get rid of the culprit as a means to address the problem, which is irresponsible in most cases. It festers a cycle where ACCOUNTABILITY has no place to thrive. Pressure may not always turn into diamonds. Many of the same corporations sprinkle something as a distraction from what they continue to do. That’s a whole other post. 

An apology has the power for the person to recognize, reflect, and rectify their actions. An apology has become a strategy to not deplete someone’s bank account. Someone has to keep the Notes app as an influencer. Every time I see that faint gray screen set up just to say sorry that they got caught or have been asked to speak upon their abhorrent behavior, I think of the lyric from Rihanna, “you look so dumb right now.” 

An apology has become a salve to calm the time stamped outrage that factions of the Internet behold. Still, to quote Dr. Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Y’all think the North remembers? Nah. The Internet remembers. 

In Eve Ensler’s book, The Apology, she writes about the cruel multitudes of abuse by her father when she was a child that has lifelong detriments. She began writing and his voice spoke through her, answering the questions she had and receiving the apology she long wanted. She delivered a Ted Talk titled, “The Profound Power of an Authentic Apology”. 

Friendly reminder that your words have power and conviction. You can speak with your values and your wallet. You can advocate for yourself, loved ones, and people whose lives and experiences you may not live. You tell those who mention the double c’s that we are in ACCOUNTABILITY AND ACTION. An apology does not have an expiration date. It is an eternal reminder in the mind and tongue to do and speak better.

While I am here, “I am sorry you feel that way”, “My Apologies”, or “I am sorry if I hurt you” are not apologies. Speak with your chest because your heart is going to feel the falsehood of your words. Or after all is said and done, do not apologize at all.

Ashley Paul is a hopeless wanderer, baker, runner, and photographer. She is passionate about supporting high school juniors and seniors to write compelling stories for their post-secondary careers. Her favorite genres are young adult, literary fiction, and memoir.

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