21 May 2018

The Power of an Apology

I observed a boy apologise to another boy last week. It was his initiative to do so and he then followed this up by contacting the boy's parents and apologising to them as well. The two things that struck me the most was the nature or the style of his apology and then the effect of the apology. The tone and the content of the apology was obviously genuine and contained no element of excuse, apportioning of blame or rationalising his behaviour. There was authentic emotion, full acceptance and regret of his actions. The apology also detailed his new awareness and his embarrassment about the effect of his actions on the recipient. The strongest feature however was what he said would happen from now on, in regard to their relationship and how he would work to restore it. It was a courageous conversation.

From the recipient's body language I could see a weight being removed and that a friendship had a very real chance of being rebuilt. The scenario was a tangible reminder that we all make mistakes with varying degrees of intent or lack of. It was also a reminder of the healing power of a genuine apology where honesty and openness comes before self-protection or personal comfort. Inspiring people don't make excuses, they apologise. I was inspired and reassured by these two boys last week.

Mr Richard Ledger

Head of Middle School