20 Feb 2010
Once again, we, the American consumer, have been treated to a celebrity apology. I am not sure what we have done to be treated to such highfalutin entertainment. If I could find out, I would immediately stop doing whatever it is I was doing.
I certainly do not downplay apologies. Heaven knows, I have done my share of apologizing throughout the years. And, reflecting on past activities, I am looking forward to many more apologies in the future. In fact, right now I just would like to apologize for anything I might do or say in the future that would in any way offend anybody. I feel better now that I have said that.
As a connoisseur of apologies, I would like to point out that there are three types of apologies common to mankind. I want to emphasize the word "man." It seems to me, as someone of experience, that we, husbands in particular, are usually on the husband-side of making an apology. I do not know if it is supposed to be this way, but it usually ends up this way as a matter of course.
The first type of apology is when you have done something wrong and you know it. Believe me, nobody since Adam has ever done anything wrong and not known it. They may deny it, but behind every denial is a lie.
I think doing something wrong is universal among everybody born of a woman. Everybody makes a mistake at some point in his or her life. Those who have made no mistakes are living in a fairytale world of make believe. They make believe they are perfect and people not wanting to cross them go along with the ruse. But normally speaking, making a mistake is part of growing up.
Making a mistake is not the problem; it is what you do after you have made that mistake. That is where apology comes into play.
The second type of apology is when what you done or said offends someone. This covers a lot of territory. It does not matter what you say or do, someone somewhere is going to be offended. Even if you do not do something, someone is offended because of your inactivity. I do not know what to do here. The only thing to do is always have a generic apology ready for someone who has been offended.
Then there is the third type of apology. It has taken me many years to understand this type, and yet I must confess to being a novice in this area. This apology is for everyone who is married, particularly husbands.
Every man goes into the life of matrimonial bliss believing he has married the girl of his dreams. I know, I was one.
The problem here is simply this. Have you ever analyzed your dreams? My dreams are all scary, convoluted, hideous with a complete twisted sense of reality. If I had to live with my dreams, I would immediately go insane.
This is where harsh reality hits the pavement of lifelong companionship.
My simple rule is this, if you want to marry the girl of your dreams never wake up. Because, as soon as anybody wakes up, reality hits you in the face. That "girl of your dreams" could become a nightmare when she realizes you are not the "man of her dreams."
This just shows the difference between husbands and wives. The wife goes into the marriage relationship knowing that she has a lot of work to do to make her new husband the man of her dreams. And she will work at this until the day she dies, or he dies, whichever comes first. To her it is an upward road to marital nirvana.
The husband starts at marital nirvana and it takes several years for him to realize that the person he married is not an angel but rather a human being subject to all the frailty of humanity that he is subjected to.
The husband starts out at perfection, while the wife has perfection as a goal. And if you have been married for any length of time, you will understand the kind of difficulties this presents. It is the kind of difficulties that call forth the apology ritual. Whoever designed apologies certainly had married people in mind. Or, better yet, husbands in mind. It is my experience that husbands need to exercise the apology ritual much more than his better half. It is the prescribed pathway to self-improvement that every wife delights in.
Therefore, we who are bound with the bonds of matrimony have greater use, especially if we are husband, of the apology ritual. And, this is not a bad thing. It is a well-known fact that husbands have a greater chance of self-improvement. When I say "self-improvement," I am assuming that my "self" is greatly facilitated by my wife. This is the advantage I have over the unmarried sojourner of life's pitted highway.
There is no better relationship than marriage. Jesus made this quite clear. "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" (Matthew 19:5-6 KJV).
No matter what the relationship is, the apology is the first step towards a better relationship.
Rev. James L. Snyder