Get It Out!
Off the Wall, November 16 , 2017

Like anything else, fads have a way of becoming prominent and then fading away like the setting of the sun over the horizon. I found this particularly true for expressions as well. Everybody will be using them, and then all of a sudden, they will be replaced by something else.

Such is the case with the words, “Pardon me.” I remember when my father was alive he used them a lot. Maybe it was the fact that these two words stuck in my mind because of living in impressible years whereby everything that went on around a child’s life, he or she absorbs them into their memory bank. As one gets older, words or actions seep out and one remembers things that he never thought of for years.

I find it interesting that to say, “Pardon me,” means more to me than stating, “I’m sorry.” Maybe the latter is too commonplace anymore. I do remember in my high school years one individual would use the latter apology so loosely that to me it meant nothing. I felt no feeling of remorse.

On the other hand, to state this expression has more guts to it. First of all, one has to slow down to say it. One can breeze through “I’m sorry” without so much of a blinking an eye, but to state, “Pardon me,” there is a requirement of slowing down and a bit of thought to go along with it.

One can use those words several different ways. Here are some examples.

“Pardon me, Cindy, but do you have an hour in your busy schedule for a visit by me?”

“Pardon me Dan. I didn’t mean to interrupt you.”

“Pardon me, Richard, but you needn’t have done that carving for me.”

I sense two emotional reactions from these words.

First, is a speaking up as to indicate an awareness of an action, and the second, is an act of reconciliation or forgiveness.

The only way we are going to live together in this society of ours to have unity. The only solution to have unity is be on the same page with others. If one or more people don’t come to amends with another, division occurs.

I was told that once one gets all riled up within one’s person, he is apt to lose all the vitamin B’s in one’s body. Whether that is true or not, it only goes to show one, actions, such as getting outwardly verbal, are not good for either party(s). Spoken words may come back to haunt one.

I remember some years back, when I handled a certain situation wrong, never actually realizing how the end of the problem would result. The whole situation festered and it seemed that no sort of reconciliation was in sight. Even though I considered I did nothing wrong, I decided to do something I had never tried before. After I and the other parties cooled down, I approached both individuals at separate times and took each aside and told each, “I’m sorry we got off on the wrong foot, and I wish to apologize for my actions.”

Now to admit I was wrong even though I was not, involves a humbleness of heart and an elimination of pride that may be the one barrier that fights one’s conscience. Yet, if one can step over one’s comfort zone and push forward so as to shove the pride thing aside, much can be accomplished.

Oh yes, I did feel a bit awkward, but what I did I knew I had to do to reconcile the differences created by the misunderstanding.

Even though one doesn’t want to use the words “Pardon me…” any sincere approach can be used. “Hey Marty, we have to talk,” may be a good way to get the ball rolling. “Say Mike, do you have a few minutes? I have something to share with you.” When you see someone alone, possibly, and he or she has hurt your feelings, this is the time to walk up to the individual and state your case.

Don’t hold in one’s feelings if there is discourse in one’s life. Get it out! Reconcile.

Whatever one does, do not hold grudges against another. It won’t damage the other person(s) as much as it will you.

Third, forget the past. Live now chalking off the past as learning experiences. It’s today and the future that counts. Believe me when I state this. Consider this. Continued unity takes work.

Will you try?

- Paul J. Volkmann
Contact me by email

To buy my book, Off the Wall Favorites, call me at 724-539-1951.