I’m sorry. How many times have you said it? How many times have you heard it? So, I’ve already shared that I’ve taken many of the lessons from The giver and examined them. One thing that stands out is that when there is a lack of feeling behind the words we speak they do not spark immense emotion in the person being spoken too. I think often that conversation pulls at the emotions inside of us. It can melt us in a single moment if the words are sweet, or enrage is if someone says something we do not want to hear. Many today cannot control that emotion and we often unconsciously use those emotions as a weapon of destruction. If only we had a little meter we could adjust when we go too far one way or the other. It would be helpful to keep ourselves in check before we hurt the people we supposedly love.
Back to the movie. There were no deep feeling words acknowledged in conversations in the movie. Citizens were taught to use precision of language which took the strong feeling away. People didn’t express love but they also didn’t express anger. Get it? They spoke the words but without feeling. They were detached from the words which allowed everyone to have polite and cordial conversations. I’m always up for a new adventure so we gave it a try at the dinner table last night. When someone made a comment that wasn’t very nice(which often happens with siblings who are 12 and 15), they were required to say without feeling “I’m sorry”. And the person would respond, “I accept your apology” and we would move on. The movie challenged me to believe that practiced politeness, even without feeling is better than the alternative. So we giggled some and everyone participated in our little experiment. By the end of dinner, we all recognized the value behind general politeness.
My point is this, it’s hard to say I’m sorry because people relate that to acknowledging they were wrong. The thing is, the sorry should represent feeling bad for hurting another human being. And, a person on the receiving end that is able to say I accept your apology and move on, without holding onto the anger and emotions will be a lot better off at the end of the day than holding onto a hot coal of anger that burns their own hand most of all.
So, we will continue to practice non feeling politeness toward one another. I can only hope that one day it starts to become second nature and more meaningful and that day, I will be very grateful.