Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Quantum Mechanics of Apologies

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” ― Benjamin Franklin

One of the hardest debts we ever have to square away can be an apology. Consider this an open payment toward crawling, ever so slightly, out of the red.

The reason it can’t be formally deposited at the Bank of Humility is achingly simple: I don’t know who I owe it to. Not by name, anyway. Nonetheless, someone specific out there is overdue for an apology, and this is as good a time as any to tender payment. Because this person - someone I only knew briefly many years ago, and even then only in passing – also deserves the respect of being addressed by name, I’m giving her one here and hoping that an apology by any other name will still be as valid.

Her name here is Zeena, and she was a day camp counselor from my youth who bubbled up in memory recently. And she has a story that’s worth sharing.