Wikipedia just blew my mind.
I was spending time on article research, when I landed on the page Apologetics.
What spurned this research was a neat and humorous article, although I couldn’t see the humor initially, that was in The New Yorker, August 2010. The article is called Apologia and written by Jeffery Frank. The article relates a reasoned debate the protagonist is having with themselves or someone else about whether to accept or not accept an apology.
(If you are a reader of this blog, you understand why an article about apologies caught my eye. If not, read Apologies 101, Doing It Wrong, Mindfully, Apologies 101: Don’ts, or just do a search on this site, keyword: Apology.)
In English usage, apology has taken on the meaning “to plea for forgiveness for an accepted wrong doing.” But that wasn’t the original meaning…
According to the Wikipedia page, apologetics is “the discipline of defending a position (usually religious) through the systematic use of reason” and the word apology is derived from the same Greek root apologetics comes from.
So here is this article about a protagonist in apologia about an apology.
And suddenly, the story has taken on a new twist. Very clever New Yorker and Jeffery Frank.
The beginning of the article is what pulled me in.
I was glad to be offered the apology—and about time, too—but I was far from ready to accept it. Not that it was a bad apology, but it never quite rose to the level I’d expected, and so I declined. Then, a day or two later, the apology was resubmitted and I was asked again if I would accept. Perhaps, I said, but not in that form.
The passage set me off because for the last years I’ve been finding my voice on my limits, boundaries, etc. I guess I’ve been, depending on your point of view, blessed or sheltered since most of the people in my social circle have their emotional/mental shit together enough that crazy bullshit doesn’t happen.
I don’t have friends (at least not that I know of) who are constant drama or live their lives as if they are in a midday soap opera. But some people, oh my God, some people just don’t understand the concept of “no drama.” Everyday of their life is like a song of woe about how someone did them wrong, or this person is going to do them wrong, or this person is so envious of them, or emotional manipulative b.s. designed to persuade you to some end goal they have designed for you.
“Oh all my friends left me”
What wasn’t said, was that you were a complete jackass to your friends, either talking shit about them to others to boost your ego, or flaking on your word, or not even being aware enough to see your friend was in pain and needed a friend, not to be a caretaker to your feelings of low self-worth.
I just never knew about these types of people and because I never knew, I never had to learn how to be “hey fuck off with that attitude/behavior bullshit” and I never have had to hear such half-assed apologies that were basically given as breezily as a child who apologizes because they know it will get them off the hook easily or an apology is given, but even then, the writing on the wall is “it’s your fault.”
So I related to the idea of hearing an apology but not being able to accept it. That is the essence of Apologia, even though the reasoning is to an extreme measure. But despite going to that place, the article ends with a statement I truly understand.
I’m sorry that I feel this way, but it’s not something for which I could ever apologize, even were an apology called for.
And that is a sentiment I truly relate to.
Speaking of quotes, my friend just passed another awesome quote to me, also from The New Yorker.
Just because an idea is true doesn’t mean it can be proved. And just because an idea can be proved doesn’t mean it’s true. When the experiments are done, we still have to choose what to believe.