From the Greek, meaning ‘away from a word’ (? No, I have no idea if this is accurate, and I’m not sorry for breaking my habit of resorting to Google).
The roots of the word may hold true. In the beginning was the logos, which not only means word, but also story, reason, among other themes. And the common use of the word apology is also a slight departure from one of its philosophical meanings, which is to promote a particular form of spirituality, for instance.
But here is the beginning of my real point of this post: To all the girls I’ve apologized to before, who specifically admonished me to stop apologizing (and I’ve had to tell many others to stop apologizing to me), I’m not sorry. (Or, I’m not not sorry?). To all the girls to whom I’ve owed legitimate apologies, the originating errors of which I only discovered later, I am indeed truly sorry, but this apology only holds until the moment you tell me that I should never apologize, in which case I’m sorry to myself for casting my pearls of apology before pretty intelligent girls who won’t recognize their worth.
Am I seriously this much of a chauvinist swine?
So let’s make a deal: let’s all stop being sorry for what or who we are. Apologizing for something we’ve said or done is a cesspool of never-ending words. Which brings up alternate senses of the word ‘sorry’. If we can distinguish between what we are and what we do, we are in defiance of some of the historical philosophers who say that what we do is who we are, but even if this is true, then we should never apologize if what we are is scorpions who have no choice but to sting the toads riding upon our backs.
And no, I’m not sorry for mixing metaphors either.
I could say that I apologize to myself before I apologize to others, so that I might truly have the kind of transformative experience suggested in today’s prompt word essay, but being sorry to oneself is just a flip side of being sorry for oneself. The famous seatbelt rule is meant to have a proactive motive rather than one of regret or apology. Unless your travelling companion dies while you’re fastening your own seatbelt.
I actually didn’t bother reading whatever it is that Anna Wintour had to be sorry for. I don’t want to know, because if she has to be sorry for being the scorpion, then I really do have to dig deeper and discover if there are things I should have changed about my existential identity or about my lifetime habits in stinging others.
To switch from Greek to Latin: Caveat Emptor. So we can all stop being sorry.