We make many mistakes in our lives. When we make mistakes, we must apologize to the victims. But sometimes things get worse even after you apologize because we didn't make a proper apology for our mistakes. To maintain a good relationship, we have to reflect on our mistakes and make sincere apologies, but we often apologize in the wrong way. Just saying, "I'm sorry" to the other and lowering your head, isn’t always good enough.
These kinds of bad apologies are often found around us as a result of campaigns like ‘Me-too’ and ‘Debt-too’, endless abuses of power, and the unforgettable ‘Japanese military sexual slavery’. The perpetrators try to escape the moment with a pretentious apology and it can seem like they are just trying to put out a fire in a hurry. So, victims might be enraged and their wounds might only deepen when they receive insincere apologies. There are wrong forms of apology all around us. In this article, let’s find out what a sincere apology is through a play.
What is a sincere apology? A play ‘Good Day to Apologize’
‘Good Day to Apologize’ is the name of an apology agency opened by the main character Chul-soo, who has lived with the word ‘sorry’ for thirty years. Chul-soo, who got turned down numerous times in job interviews, had no money because he didn’t work and lived an idle life. He could no longer face his mother because he looked like a failure. So then, Chul-soo starts his own business in order to get out of his continuing unemployment difficulties. Chul-soo, considering founding a start-up, recalls his childhood and realizes that his best talent is apologizing. So, Chul-soo starts an apology agency. As soon as he starts his agency, he gets requests. So, he imagines a smooth future, but the business is not as easy as he thinks.
At first Chul-soo is confident, but he fails at his first request. The first client, Mr. Timid, asks Chul-soo to help restore his relationship with his girlfriend. However, Chul-soo fails to understand the reason why the client’s girlfriend is angry and makes a proxy apology, eventually destroying the relationship. In return, he gets slapped by his client in his face and gets accused of fraud. It is a predictable result. Chul-soo has lived with the word ‘sorry’ for thirty years but he has never made a proper apology. He apologized without knowing exactly why he was sorry in his childhood. The apology was just a habit to him. After repeated apologies, Chul-soo made the same mistake every time, and only the empty apology remained. So his lover left him because of his attitude. At that time, Chul-soo apologized repeatedly without sincerity.
However, he shows a different attitude in the second request. The second request is about a conflict between a daughter and a mother who opposes the girl’s dream of becoming a singer. Their conflict, which began from not understanding each other, has grown beyond just a minor dispute. Chul-soo calmly conveys the mother's inner thoughts to her daughter instead of unilaterally delivering an apology. With the help of Chul-soo, the mother and the daughter, who understand each other's feelings, resolves a big conflict. They are able to have a deeper relationship through this apology and forgiveness.
The characters in the play show what is essential for sincere apologies. First of all, an apology may begin when you realize what you did wrong. If you don't know that mistake you made, you can't beg for forgiveness. Even when you do, it is easy to apologize for the wrong things and make things even worse. Second, you should admit your mistake directly and take responsibility for it. If you do something wrong, it is natural to be punished for what you commit. But some people find it difficult. Don’t be ashamed of making an apology. It is natural for people to take responsibilities, not evading them. Finally, don’t make an apology with the mere words. It is good to admit your mistake and apologize for what you did wrong. But don’t repeat the same mistakes constantly after you make an apology. It can’t be a good apology if you repeat apologizing without self-reflection. Rather, you will hurt others more.
So far, I have talked about the necessary conditions and importance of a true apology. A sincere apology must consider others and not just yourself. If you apologize, you can’t be forgiven unconditionally. Before you apologize to someone, you should be reminded of this one important factor. Let's think about whether your apology is a pretentious one only done to unburden your heart or a true one with the feeling of remorse for the other side.< Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >