Thursday, April 23, 2015
I have mused and mumbled before about the public apologies these days which seem to be spin rather than true contrition. By the time the individual has finished it's clear that all their sorry for is that someone else was offended. Over and over these mea culpas contain little in the way of substance.
The term mea culpa comes from a prayer of confession of sinfulness at the beginning of the Roman Catholic Mass or when receiving the sacrament of Penance. It may be accompanied by beating the breast as in its use in a religious context.
Often those offering the quasi apologies are politicians and media stars, but sometimes they are religious leaders. Sadly, the religious types are as adept at artfully dodging as the rest of them.
Enter Rich Terfry, CBC radio host and Juno-winning hip-hop artist under the name of Buck 65. A few days ago he made a searingly honest confession on Facebook:
I've destroyed every important relationship in my life by cheating and lying. That includes my marriage. Being honest has been a big problem for me for a long time. I've treated a lot of people very badly. I've toyed with people's hearts. I've manipulated and tricked people. I've created a false image of myself here and with my music. I haven't been a good person. At all. I've made myself look like a victim of the people I hurt. I can't do that anymore. So the first step I need to take is to let the world know. I want this to be the first of many steps I take to become a better person. I need a LOT of help with that.
I'm sorry. To the good people I've hurt recently. I'm sorry to the people I've hurt in the past. I'm sorry to everyone for making you believe I'm something I'm not. I'm a shitty person. I need help. Like I said, this is just a first step.
Zowie! Terfry is correct in naming this as a first step, but it is an impressive one. I hope it is the beginning of personal change which will result in reconciliation and personal change.
Saying sorry and admitting wrongdoing --aka sin-- is an essential aspect of the Christian life. We are promised forgiveness and a "do-over" through the redeeming love of Christ.
Why is that apologizing can be so difficult? Do you struggle with saying sorry? What about Rich Terfry's public confession?