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Insightful Fiction #1: What If You Could Never Say “I’m Sorry” Again?

Alexander Cameron
Alexander Cameron
1 min read

Imagine you woke up one day and the word “sorry” packed its bags and left your vocabulary, never to be seen or heard from again.

I know one thing for sure…

My home country would have an existential crisis (sorry about that, eh!).

Today’s insight comes from Crooked Kingdom, book two of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology. Let me paint you the scene:

Jesper is a Zemini-born sharpshooter, Fabrikator, and member of The Dregs gang. He ends up revealing sensitive information about a heist to a bunch of ‘baddies’ who plan an ambush that almost gets his friend, Inej, killed.

So Jesper does what any of us would do when we royally fuck up… he tries to apologize to Inej.

But she stops him in his tracks:

“Do you know the Suli have no words to say ‘I’m sorry’? …

We say nothing. We know the slight was not deliberate. We live in tight quarters, traveling together. There’s no time to constantly be apologizing for existing.”

How often do we say ‘sorry’ for something unintentional or minor? Hell, I catch myself saying sorry when I open a door and see someone doing the same thing on the other side.

There are seven billion people on this space rock. Of course, we’re gonna bump into each other, or step on each other’s toes, from time to time. That’s nothing to feel bad about, that’s just life.

But what can you do when you're in the wrong?

“When someone does wrong, when we make mistakes, we don’t say we’re sorry. We promise to make amends.”

When you do certain things, like ram into a parked car, you’re forced to make things right. Your insurance or bank account covers the damage.

But it’s those moments when you’re not forced to make things right that you can take a lesson from.

Had to cut the line at the coffee shop because you’re in a rush? Pay for the next person’s coffee as a thank you for letting you butt in.

Wrecked a book someone lent you? (the horror!) Replace the book.

Almost get your friend killed during an impossible heist? I dunno, buy them a beer and promise you won’t make that same mistake again.

Making mistakes is okay. Stop reflexively saying sorry.

Seize those opportunities to make things right.

insightful fiction

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