1. An acknowledgment expressing regret or asking pardon for a fault or offense.


I love my daughter. She's the bright place in my life, the reason I come home after work instead of spending the evenings driving, the reason I put aside work.

A year or so ago her mother and I took an old fashioned ceramic milk jug, put it on the kitchen table, and started putting money in it for our Disneyland fund. A few months later most of the money was gone. My daughter, nine at the time, had stolen over fifty dollars.

Here are the psychological stages of death that lead to her apology:

Shock - "We're not going to Disneyland?"

Denial - "I don't know what happened!"

Anger - "You're always blaming me for everything!"

Bargaining - "If you'd have given me a bigger allowance!"

Depression - "You don't love me."

Grieving - "I'm sorry."

Margaret Laurence once wrote, "In some families, please is described as the magic word. In our house, however, it was sorry."

So we've said we're sorry. What now? We've "kissed the boo-boo and made it all better" so now we can simply walk away, right?

"Never ruin an apology with an excuse." - Kimberly Johnson

An apology without ownership is empty.

I've heard few true apologies in my lifetime. Unfortunately, most are followed by the word "but" as in "but I was busy" or "but I have higher priorities" or "but I'm just not a very honest person" or "but the alcohol made me do it" or "but this is who I am".

A word of advice to those who have no clue what an apology is: Don't be a 'but'.

A true apology is one of the most healing things in the universe. It can heal a heart, a friend, a lover, or a family member, especially when the actions behind it demonstrate sincerity.

"Apology is a lovely perfume;" Margaret Lee Runbeck once said, "it can transform the clumsiest moment into a gracious gift."

Get it? Got it? Good.

Now take responsibility for yourself and make every apology count.