I believe in the power of forgiveness. It is a blessing for the person who forgives as it is for the person who is forgiven. True forgiveness requires an apology, and admission of guilt and remorse. If you are married, you should apologize to your loved one for every bone-headed thing you do. As Lazarus Long says, “In a family argument, if it turns out that you are right — apologize at once!”
But there are people to whom you should never apologize at all — the ranks of the perpetually pissed-off people. Never apologize to one of these pissed-off people, even if you are in the wrong! That may sound harsh and unlike any advice you have ever heard before, but admitting your guilt to the perpetually pissed-off seems to be the same, to them, as admitting weakness. It grants them license to accuse you of every slight and misdoing from then on. You have caved to them. They won’t accept it as a token of your sincerity and commend you for it. Instead, the perpetually pissed-off people will see your apology as an opening to demand restitution, and they will demand it forever.
The so-called “Reverend” Jesse Jackson is an expert at using his own state of perpetual pissed-offedness to get money from companies for his own group and people. A formal complaint was filed against Jackson, accusing him of extorting money from corporations, including the sale of an Anheuser-Busch distributorship to Jackson’s sons.
Don’t apologize to whiney liberals, cry-baby environmentalists, or aggrieved minority groups. Consider what happened when Congress, back in 1993, issued an Apology Resolution for the actions taken a century before in overthrowing the Kingdom of Hawaii. The aggrieved group known as the Reinstated Hawaiian Kingdom is using the 1993 apology as its basis to challenge U.S. sovereignty on the islands. They are not content to accept the apology in the spirit it was given — they want, and must have, more!
As a group, Muslims around the world are a notable part of the perpetually pissed-off. Someone claims falsely that a Koran was flushed at Gitmo — riots! Cartoonists draw pictures about Islam and Mohammed — riots! Most recently, Pope Benedict XVI quotes someone centuries dead — riots! Get the picture? Since there may be a few people who haven’t heard what has caused Muslims around the world to get their collective panties in a bunch, I’ll print it again. Steel yourselves for the unparalleled horror of what he said:
“Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
Meh. I’m still waiting to see a Muslim prove the Pope’s quote was wrong. Their actions have so far confirmed exactly what was said. Technically, Pope Benedict was quoting Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Paleologos, but I doubt your average rampaging Muslim on the street knows it — or has even read the entire set of remarks by the Pope.
Don’t apologize to perpetually pissed-off people. Tell them to pull their thumbs out of their mouths, stop crying like babies, and get on with their lives.