The most powerful words in the English language have to be “I’m Sorry.” I’m confident in that statement, only because I have lived on both sides of that aisle. I’ve been too self-centered to recognize my mistakes, or too proud to admit my mistakes, and occasionally too broken to not say those words. The latter being the most vulnerable and powerful times of my life in leadership.
It’s been estimated that about 87% of our life and leadership challenges occur within the borders of our interpersonal relationships. That means that it is impossible to always be the victim or to be the victor. We are flawed people living in a flawed land, living lives that require us to be more cognoscent of our present mistakes. In a world filled with social media, cameras capturing everything we say and do, and the ability to fact check everything we say…well, let’s just say that there is plenty of room for a few more “I’m Sorry” admissions.
Brenda Lee put it this way in her hit “I’m Sorry”: I’m sorry, so sorry You tell me mistakes. Are part of being young. But that don’t right the wrong that’s been done. I’m sorry. So sorry. Please accept my apology. but love is blind. And I was too blind to see. I’m sorry…so sorry.
I’ve watched how presidential candidate Donald Trump has so poorly handled the Khan family and their statements at the Democratic National Convention. To not have the ability to control his tongue as he responded to Captain Khan’s grieving parents seems so irrational…and it is!
But I’m not here to speak to Donald Trump’s flawed perspective regarding the Khan family. I’m here to remind us all that fighting to prove you’re right might be proving that you are not right al all! To lash out at Mr. Trump is far too easy. To look in the mirror and not see that I too have handled a few things poorly as well is a far more difficult task. When you are leading anything…family, church, business, relationships, teams, or anything else, you will handle a few relationships poorly. I seem to have mastered the art of responding poorly.
Maybe we should grasp the significance of the following words before we start shouting back or responding in defensiveness…”Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Proverbs 28:20 Or maybe we could hang on to these words…”But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.” Colossians 3:8
As for me and my mouth, I must refresh my soul with the heartfelt statement, I’m Sorry far more often than I would like to believe. How about you?
Anybody can find fault with how we respond and react, but why be an anybody?
Fox News Anchor Dana Perino: http://insider.foxnews.com/2016/08/01/perino-slams-trump-over-khan-controversy-hes-wrecking-ball-his-own-campaign
Brenda Lee, I’m Sorry: https://youtu.be/BGLR25EJtfE