One Surprising Reason People Don’t Apologize

Kerry got into it with his brother-in-law again. Somehow this happened with some, almost predictable, regularity about twice a year. Each time was painful for them and for the witnesses. Yet, it seemed doomed to repeat itself. And in that horrible cycle, Kerry would not apologize. Why not? It started innocently enough. Chuck was looking at the news headlines when he opened his email. “Boy,” he said, “there go the American apologists again. Why won’t they just be proud of who they are? Why are we always afraid to speak up? Why can’t we take some strong steps with people who put us down?” Kerry, his brother-in-law, happened to be passing through the kitchen at that moment. He and his wife, Penny, were visiting for a few days and Kerry came with suitcases full of opinions. “What gives you the right to spill American blood?” he retorted, his face growing red. “What do you want to do, inflame them more? Why, you’re just a murderer!” How Other People Perceive Our “Passion” About An Idea Chuck was shocked although he shouldn’t have been. This was Kerry’s modus operandi: If he disagreed with an opinion that someone expressed, he felt duty-bound to express his disagreement in the strongest possible terms. He always believed that strong terms got the message across. Chuck was offended. More than offended, he was perplexed. How in the world could his own wishing for fairness and truth in the media and in the eyes of the government rather than placating people ready to throw bombs at a moment’s notice be the equivalent of murder? It made no...
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