Earlier in the morning on my way to work, I scurried into a bus and I accidentally stepped on my seatmate’s shoe. His reaction was quite fast, he lowered his large brown eyes onto the gleam of his well polished shoes and a small sigh escaped him. His face was stern which made me a little nervous. I apologized fervently and awkwardly without knowing what to do. Was I to wipe his shoe, or give him tissue?
He smiled at me and I relaxed, thanking the heavens that he wasn’t a psycho. I have seen/met quite a few of those especially on Monday mornings, but that is a story for another day.
I took my seat and quickly dug into my bag grabbing my pack of tissues and wipes and handed to him. ”It was but an accident, don’t sweat it.” He said. I insisted that he take some of them at least it would make me feel like my apology counted for something, he grudgingly agreed. This little episode acted as an icebreaker. My seatmate who I will name ‘Mr.G’ went on to tell me that he was surprised that I apologized because most people brush of such incidents or pretend they didn’t happen.
He told me about a similar situation that had happened the previous week as he and others crossed a road; a man, (let’s call him Wanyoike) who seemed to be in more of a hurry than the rest hit another man (let’s call him Ndegwa) and in the process Ndegwa dropped his phone. Wanyoike didn’t flinch, apologize or even help to pick the phone, he just walked on as if nothing had happened. Ndegwa, upon picking it up, saw that his screen had been shattered and there was nothing he could do about it. Wanyoike was by now, nowhere to be found, he’d dissapeared into the crowd.
Mr.G said that, this particular incident triggered a lot of emotion/reaction from the rest of them. They didn’t/couldn’t understand why instead of apologizing for the trouble caused on Ndegwa, Wanyoike chose to pretend it didn’t happen and instead walked off to his business. I have met quite a number of people who after causing harm refuse to apologize or who pretend that an incident didn’t happen at all, these are the same people who will cause (like there’s no tomorrow) when the same measure of discomfort is applied to them.
When a person apologizes they choose the relationship with the person over their ego and sometimes the apology can help turn an awkward moment turn into a gracious experience as it did with me and Mr.G. People should ensure that their apologies are sincere as insincere ones are more likely to cause more hurt to the aggravated party.
Let’s learn to apologize no matter how small the mistake looks like, you never know, it could go a long way into making someone else’ day or yours.
I then alighted at my stop and went my way feeling relieved and happy to have made a new friend.
“In this life, when you deny someone an apology,
you will remember it at time you beg forgiveness.”
Have a forgiveness-filled Day.