Thursday, October 13, 2005

Forgive me!

Please forgive me... not for all the things I've done to you over the past year (well, go on then), but for the complaint I am about to make. It may seem harsh but it has been bugging me.

Every Yom Kippur season, I get text messages and emails from well-meaning people, saying things like "If I have done anything to offend you over the previous year I am sorry and ask for your forgiveness."

I am never sure whether I should actually drop them a note back saying that I acknowledge their request, reciprocate and of course am happy to oblige. What I really want to do is ask why people think this is a suitable way of repenting. It seems like a fairly simplistic tool - the mass text or mailshot - that provides instant and basic gratification that one has done one's bit to apologise.

If it was a minor or inadvertent offence, I would assume the other party forgave and/or forgot very quickly of their own accord. If it was anything more malicious or wilful, then a more personal touch might be appropriate, to bring resolution to the issue.

Accordingly, sorry if I pissed you off with a minor act of stupidity, thoughtlessness or insensitivity during the year - I shall assume I am forgiven unless you contact me to tell me otherwise. If it was a big 'un, then you will be hearing from me. Going forward, please raise these things as they occur - I'm quite thick-skinned, and tend to learn from my mistakes if pointed out at the time.

Now where were we... ah yes, I dislike the mass request for forgiveness. Ah. Is there an Al-Chet for hypocrisy?!

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