What is an apology?
Google defines and apology as:
When someone does something to another person that may be some sort of offense, the offender is expected to make amends for those words or behaviors. Over the past week or I've watched as the online community to which I belong has rallied behind the cries of an individual who offered an edited conversation as fuel to a fire set to burn a warlock at the stake.
The full text of the discussion completely ignored after disclosure. I felt as though I was watching a 1930's Frankenstein Film. Ok, so yeah that's a little dramatic. The monster in this real life film fiasco was not the completely innocent unknowing oaf who was mistakenly viewed as a criminal based on his appearance. This monster actually commented the offense in question.
I saw a soulful apology presented and an effort to move forward only met with more ridicule and hatred.
I saw someone actually post - "Do you think you can apologize and get away with it?"
Another read - "Apologies do not matter, this is unacceptable and he should be put out of business."
Really? Is this justice? Who are we to judge?
I get the offensive nature of what was said. I've seen both the edited and the unedited versions of the screen captures being passed around. I've also listened to the radio show. Some people love the humor of Eddie Murphy. Some prefer Joan Rivers. Some believe that people should be stoned for mocking God in a comedy sketch. Offensiveness is subjective.
While I agree the unedited comments were extremely uncalled for, I also understand the beauty of forgiveness. I'm not suggesting that we approve of the comment, I am saying that we approve of the apology.
Recently it was brought to my attention that the offender felt so deeply troubled by the pain his comment could have caused that he made a sizable donation to RAINN. I immediately wanted to run to the accusers and say, "Is this enough?" But then I realized. It really isn't about the crime in question, it is more about the hunt. There is nothing that the monster can do that would make the villagers forgive and accept him. This is after all, come they are in control of. Not him. Because you see, his apology his attempt to make amends does nothing to change their hearts. He cannot change them. They have to change.
I beg of my fellow feminists, please allow people to apologize. Allow those who have offended you to say they are sorry. Holding on to that anger isn't going to remove evil from the world. It is only going to ingrain that negativity and evil deeper into our core. Not every man on the planet is out to get you.
I was so very disappointed when I saw someone I respected highly judge someone so harshly. I was amazed at how we sit back and say, don't judge me. Yet, we not only cast judgement on others around us, but refuse to allow others to make mistakes. I, like them, have to stop and remember they are human. I have to accept that just because they are in a high position in the group, that does not make them infallible.
As a devotee of the Goddess Hecate, I participate in the Deipnon. There is a cleansing part of this ritual where I walk my house and sweep up around my area to cleanse or make amends, for any offense that may have happened towards the Goddess. I look in my dust pan and see lint, dirt and the occasional macaroni noodle I dropped while cooking. I take these and toss them out with a bit of garlic and leeks. I know that with that, whatever transgressions that may have occurred are now gone. Cleansing my house is offering an apology.
I like to say I have a relationship, not a religion. I don't call on the Goddess to fix a flat or help my team win. (Though they could have certainly used it yesterday) I use the representations of the deity and what she stands for to be sure that I am providing a sound, just world for our future generations.
Take a moment to examine what you are looking to leave this world. What are you ready to work for? The world already has enough pain and negativity. Will you be a healer or judge, jury and executioner.
Namaste & Blessed Be