Like many nights, I was having a tough time getting a start on this blog post. I’d started a piece about apology, wishing that a person I know who I think ought to apologize to a lot of people probably never will and wondering why other people, myself included, apologize so much that there ought to be a single “I’m sorry” key on my keyboard, that and the little yellow sad face being my principal business communication tools. Other people have grown dynasties on the policy of no apology. Nowhere to go with that, it’s just an observation.
So I went downstairs for a second glass of wine and stopped for a minute to watch a news piece featuring one of the Sandy Hook families a year later. Mom and Dad and two of their kids were playing a game at the kitchen table, the dad was later shown singing again in his band at night while working fulltime during the day for the Sandy Hook Promise. At the end of the piece, they flashed the picture of the little boy they lost and I thought, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.
Millions of people will be saying that tomorrow once they get reminded about all those little kids and their teachers. A year ago, we were all hysterical. I wrote a piece the day after in which I tried, unsuccessfully, to imagine the grief the mothers of the Sandy Hook children were feeling. I just reread it to remember what I was thinking. Because, frankly, I forgot. I moved on.
How could I? Really. Why didn’t fighting for gun control become the biggest priority in my life? What does it take to move a good person like me to action? Does it have to happen in my kitchen?
AA is right that it’s not enough to be sorry, one must make amends. Even when the offense was committed by a stranger several states away, if the conditions still exist for a repeat of Sandy Hook, then we should all apologize and make amends. That’s what I think.
If you were looking for a lighthearted essay this evening, this might have been the wrong stop on the bus line. And for that, of course, I’m sorry.