Wednesday, March 25, 2009
A few days ago, I took a group of young people to make amends to a person that they had wronged today. Each of them had written out letters of apology and practiced their "I'm So Sorry" speeches. On the way to make the apology, there was absolute silence in my car. Occasionally, there was a cough, or I'd talk about the strength of an apology and how difficult it is for a man to admit he is wrong. They listened, but you could tell that they were more worried teenagers, than attentive listeners. When we arrived, they slowly moved out of the car, and made their "Death March" into the establishment. Once we were inside, the person they had wronged came from the back and all of us had a 90 second Mexican standoff. No one spoke. I'm not sure if anyone breathed. In a long, slow, embarrassed motion one of the boys handed his letter to the worker. Once she began to read it, the boys clammed up even tighter. The tension was incredible. After about a minute passed the woman slowly raised her face up from the paper and the boys saw that her face was soaked with tears. As if it was a choreographer number the boys extended their arms, hugged the woman ans showered her with, "I'm so sorry" & "I apologize". The woman then brought the boys into a backroom and sat down with them and read each of their letters. In a brilliant twist; the woman didn't condemn the boys, but she told them stories about her childhood and how she is with her children. The boys listened attentively and shared pieces of their lives also. There were a lot of laughs and a few more tears. In the end, it seemed like an experience that all involved will remember. Besides the exchange between "victim and culprit" and the learning between younger and older generations, a perfect cherry was placed on top of the day. On the way home, the boys were loose and laughing and kickin' it in the car. About half way home the song "It Was A Good Day" by Ice Cube came on and me and the boys sang it all the way home. I can't really put my finger on why, but i believe this is one of the best days of my life. But that's just my opinion though, and who the hell am I?