It starts when we are very young with the oh so common comment of "Be good or Santa won't get you any presents this year" and there is always the parental pushing of "Go say you're sorry, and make sure you mean it".
There however is no equivalent as adults, we are never really told to go make nice with those we've wronged, and for all of us who've grown up and learned about the magic of Santa, there's really no threat there.
So why apologize? Why atone for the wrongs we've done? And why bother to forgive those who've wronged us, with or without an apology?
For the Jewish, Yom Kippur, the most holy of all days is just that, a day of atonement. I for one know that I'd love to have a day when all of my sins and regrets from the last year could be forgiven. I however am not of the Jewish faith so it'd be cheating.
So instead I must atone the old fashioned way, by asking for forgiveness and giving it to others when asked.
What however are you to do when you're not the one who needs to do the asking and the question never seems to come?
Gandhi once said: “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
So I'm left forgiving and trying to mend fences despite the fact that I have every right to be angry especially when the silence should be filled with words of atonement.
What of those who say 'I can forgive, but will never forget', how is that really forgiving?
Forgiving is saying I was hurt but am prepared to move forward. To truly forgive, the past has to stay in the past. Thus the forgive but never forget comment is basically implying that one will never forgive.
All I can say is that I'd love to get the apologies I feel I deserve, but I'm not expecting anything. I have already forgiven, I have already moved on.
After all Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote :“He who is devoid of the power to forgive, is devoid of the power to love.” and I want to be able to love.