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A recent event got me thinking about apologies. Apologies can be a lot of things. Some people seem to apologize for living, using it as a form of social lubrication like “Please” and “Thank you.” They pass apologies out without thought like one might shake pepper onto eggs. These apologies might be sincere, but neither deeply thought about, nor long remembered. They are the accidental-stepping-on-your-foot apologies: “So sorry! I can be terribly clumsy.” Or they are the apologies for the vagaries of life: “So sorry it rained.” or “So sorry you didn’t enjoy the movie.”
Others might use apologies as a peace offering. The spouse is in an uproar over something? Let’s try to ratchet down the temperature. What’s that I’m supposed to say to do this? Oh, yeah, “I’m sorry, dear. It’s all my fault.” Some such apologies might be sincere, but I’m betting most are not. They are sincere peace offerings, but not sincere apologies. Not many people are going to be willing to sustain a long-term state of war over small things that don’t matter to them that much, and if a little lie helps get things moving again, they’ll do it.