After the apology

When we feel that someone has wronged us, we often hunger for an apology. Sometimes our hunger is so strong that we devour everything in our path. We insist on an apology as our due; we harass the person who has so wronged us until we wheedle or hammer or prise an admission from them.

But an apology is like a fairytale wedding. We can devote so much energy to planning the big day—the flowers, the finery, the choice of celebrant, the perfect chapel and every last detail of the wedding feast—that we forget about the days and years that will follow. A wedding is an escape from reality; what happens after the confetti has been swept away will determine the success or failure of the union.

Apologies are the same. It doesn’t matter how artfully they may be wrapped, or how elegantly they may be phrased. What follows is far more important. So we receive our apology. But how shall we behave tomorrow?


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