How many times have we had a ‘sorry’ stuck in our throat, times when our pride and a sense of ‘I’ (the ego) overrules everything and we let relationships go to the pits?
To most of us, offering a word of apology is a sign of weakness. It means we have surrendered. We are deeply embedded in the belief that apologizing means admitting our mistake and giving the other person an advantage. More so if we consider ourselves the sinned against and not the sinner.
The people in the story ‘Half-Empty Coffee Cups’ could have been any two people on earth bound by any kind of relationship (gone sour) friends, divorced couple, lovers, siblings….why…even a parent and a child. Any two people who went their own ways for reasons that can’t be specified.
In our lives too, we often don’t figure why we nurture hard feelings, why we break relationships, why we become estranged with people who once meant so much to us. When small things lead to the big break, we label it as ‘incompatibility’ for convenience sake and silently carry the burden of a strained relationship for the rest of our lives. We may pretend that it doesn’t matter, but deep inside, it does, because we know things could have been better. We know we could have saved many a heartburn if only we had relinquished our pride.
Have we ever thought of reaching out to the other in such instances without doing postmortems of the past?
It may not fix the fracture, but it can unburden us. Sometimes, all it takes to liberate us is uttering a ‘sorry’ that has lain trapped inside. We may not be able mend the fences, but we can at least free our soul, even if it is years after we have crossed swords and parted ways.
The male protagonist in the story didn’t have any earth-shattering revelation to make, nor did he seek much from the meeting. He just wanted to release himself from his inner prison by saying ‘sorry’ for letting the relationship go awry.
It took years for him to conquer his ego, apologize and break free. He should have done it earlier, perhaps.