arbitrary stuff that comes to mind: whenever I feel like thinking aloud

Saturday, October 30, 2010

My grandmother said: Sorry? Three steps: the Mouth, Hands and Head

I'm Sorry - but am I really? Three steps to genuine forgiveness.

The Mouth, the Hands, the Head

We all learn it when we are very young: "I'm sorry Mommy!" "I'm sorry Daddy!"
And if you aren't saying saying it, then someone is saying to you "Say you're sorry now!"

What does it mean, all this saying sorry?
It's a sorry state of affairs that we don't look at the kernel of being sorry: Really, we want to be forgiven for something we did.  How to get forgiveness?. That's the crux of the matter.

Here's my Grandmother's take on it

After the umpteenth time of saying sorry (for the same old thing of course!) she took us kids aside and said:
"Look at me"!
"To be really sorry, you must remember the Mouth" (pointed to her lips) "the Hands" (clapping them lightly in front of her) "and the Head" (tapping her temples quickly). She then proceeded to explain:

The Mouth

The first thing you have to do to show that you are sorry for what you did is to say it out loud. Tell the person. As soon as possible. Its best to do it face to face, that works best of all because the other person  sees it, but sometimes it's not possible, so you send a message. And if you have left other people with the wrong impression with what you did, then they have to hear it too.

The Hands

Its not enough to say sorry.
We all know the phrase "Lip Service". Don't pay Lip Service:
Something is broken, its got to be fixed.
The hands are a symbol for that.
Spilled some coffee? Say sorry - and clean up the mess. Properly.
Spread some gossip? Say sorry - and now go to the people who you told the story to and tell them the truth. And say sorry to them for creating that bad impression.
Broken something? Say sorry - and fix it, or replace it, doing your level best to replace it with the same one.

The Head

But that's still not enough.
Why, you could be breaking someones cups, telling lies, using their stuff without permission and so on over and over again - would saying sorry work? Of course not. they would pretty soon get tired of it all.
No, the only way to show that you are truly sorry is to not do it any more.
In other words, you have to change your behaviour, and sometimes, even how you think.

So that's it.
You show that you are truly sorry by not doing it any more, and by talking and behaving in a different, better way.

And I remember it all by those three quick little motions she made, as she touched her lips, clapped her hands, and tapped the side of her head all the while repeating the Mantra "the mouth, the hands, the head"

The path to true Forgiveness is a 3 step process: and if you follow it, everyone will know that you are truly Sorry.

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