While I certainly have my political allegiances, I realized today something that I don’t think I would have been able to articulate beforehand. In the wake of the whole Daschle scandal (and, for the record, I’d like to be clear on the fact that, if you want to argue for policies, you’d better be paying your fair share of those policies. And I’m sure if we audited Congress, there would be quite a few people on both sides of the aisle who would get in trouble), I was getting a little annoyed at the fact that this is the third person to withdraw from consideration because of legal issues.
And then I watched the evening news and heard words I am VERY much not accustomed to hearing from the President of the United States: “I messed up.”
And you know what? It helped a lot. Being willing to recognize your mistakes in public? Major points for any elected official. But especially the President. A friend wrote a few weeks ago in her blog about the Middle East peace process and how studies and interviews have shown that even hardliners are willing to consider compromise in exchange for apologies. I think there’s really something to that. When we are willing to fess up to the mistakes we’ve made, it opens up the possibility for true healing.
As a Church, this is something that we should take seriously. We need to be speaking to each other respectfully, and when we screw up, we should acknowledge it. It’s amazing how much difference a genuine apology makes.