UNITED STATES—There is a topic that I really want to discuss and I think it’s something that should be of importance to all Americans: the importance of an apology. We sometimes say or do things that we don’t necessarily mean, and as a result we find ourselves in situations where an ongoing feud or distaste for a particular person clouds our judgment.

Some people apologize because they can accept their faults and acknowledge they were wrong. However, there are those who apologize to simply sweep something under the rug and hope to get back into good graces with a person they wronged. Why is it that some people don’t stand their ground and expect a sincere apology from the perpetrator who was in the wrong?

Well, we are a forgiving nation, and I do believe forgiveness is very important. In order to grow, you have to be able to forgive those who have wronged you. Not to make them feel better, but to let go of that grudge that may be slowly, but surely eating away at your conscience and your overall emotional help. This issue is of particular importance to me when you are dealing with family because these people have blood ties to you. I’ve said this before and I will say this again: family will hurt you in ways that no others will hurt you and the notion to forgive will always exist.

Now, I can totally agree that some actions are unforgiveable, but you always run into situations where after a bit of time has passed, the ability to forgive or at least acknowledge that you are no longer going to allow that person’s antics to impact your life becomes possible. Will you ever be best friends again? Not likely, but at the same time, you have to be open to new horizons.

Unfortunately, I’m a person who can forgive, but I never forget. If you wrong me, you lose a level of trust from me, if you screw me over purposely and need a favor, you diminish your chances. You can only stab someone in the back so many times before the person fights back and removes the knife. Also when a person does something that you don’t approve of and it leaves a tainted feeling with you, you don’t forget it.

It changes the dynamics of your relationship, you see this person in a new light, you start to question their motives and you simply begin to distance yourself from the individual. I always find it amazing when a person expects things to go back to normal after they have burned you. Life does not work that way people; you can’t constantly do wrong and expect things to be sunshine and rainbows.

What is more frustrating is for a person to get upset at you for seeing the dynamic in the relationship being altered by their actions. I can care less about how you feel. How about how I feel? The fact that you with malicious intent did something that impacted me professionally, personally, emotionally or financially. Life does not work that way, and with a true apology a person will own his or her mistakes and not sit around and place blame on others. I did wrong, I screwed up and now I have to accept it.

If you’re not going to deliver an apology that is 100 percent remorseful and indicative of acknowledgement of why you were wrong, you cannot expect someone to take you as a person whose word can be trusted. When trust is lost, it is VERY difficult to regain it. If though you might trust someone, the doubt will always exist in the back of your mind.