The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    People should apologize for mistakes

    “I’m sorry.” That has to be one of the hardest phrases in the English language to say. I use the word “sorry” on a daily basis, but only in reference to other people, never myself. For example, people who are too lazy to push their grocery cart to the cart return are sorry and worthless and ought to be taken out and beaten with a rubber hose.
    There are, of course, other words that are tough to spit out. Men seem to have a problem saying “love,” “commitment,” and “mmm-mmmarr-,” well you know, that thing that comes after a commitment, but “sorry” seems to be tough for everyone.
    I don’t think it’s that we’re afraid to admit fault, just that we hate to both admit that we were wrong about something and that we feel bad about it. Maybe John Wayne is to blame. In the movie “Chisholm,” Wayne’s character says multiple times, “Never apologize, it makes you sound weak.”
    Society has come up with many ways around the issues of guilt and weakness. No one says, “I’m sorry” anymore, instead we use different clever sounding phrases in its place. My personal favorite is “Oops, my bad.”
    You hear this one a lot these days, and it almost sounds like a genuine apology, but it’s not. Allow me to demonstrate:
    I detest people who refuse to use the marked crosswalks on campus and instead leap out in front of my car in random locations and attempt to cross the street, often with an I-dare-you-to-hit-me look on their faces. One day, my reflexes will not be as quick as normal, and I will squish one of these degenerates. As I continue on my way, I’ll lean out my window and say, “Oops, my bad.”
    See, it almost sounds like I’m apologizing, doesn’t it? What I’m really saying is “I admit that I have ground this jaywalking fool into the asphalt, or at the very least reduced him to jay hopping or jay limping; however, I don’t feel the least bit bad or guilty, so there.
    Even though they’re not really apologies, at least using one of the substitute phrases, is still a way of accepting responsibility for something. Whether you feel bad is a different issue. Some people in our society refuse to do even this, and therefore, I feel it is my duty to point out a few of them and demand at the very least, an “Oops, my bad.”
    Not surprisingly, the people that I am targeting for ridicule today are members of the scientific community. Scientists are notorious for not apologizing for mistakes. They cause a furor over something, then when their predictions don’t come to pass, or their data proves faulty, rather than own up to the error, they slink back into obscurity, never to be heard from again.
    Think about it, who finally came forward and said, “Oh, guess what guys, we were wrong all this time-the world really isn’t flat, spontaneous generation doesn’t occur, the earth isn’t the center of the universe, the moon isn’t so soft that the astronauts will sink into its surface, inducing seizures doesn’t cure schizophrenia, the coelacanth isn’t extinct, etc.” Need I go on? Because I can.
    Unfortunately, the majority of these guys are as dead as their predictions, and we are therefore not likely to get an apology. There are however, two modern issues that I would like to take the scientific community to task over.
    The first is the ozone scare. Remember a few years ago, when some of us learned of the existence of the ozone layer for the first time, and then we learned that it had a gaping hole in it and we were all going to either fry from the suns radiation or global warming would melt the ice caps and drown us all before we got the opportunity to tan to death? What happened to this? Since then, we have had some of the coldest winters on record, and the doom shouters have all faded away. I haven’t heard the ozone mentioned on the news in years. Did the problem just go away on its own, or was it simply never a problem to begin with? Regardless, someone needs to step up and say, “Sorry, we were wrong again.”
    Number two on my list today, is the Y2K scare. I know you remember this one. We were told that the world would effectively shut down on Jan. 1, 2000, and that society as we knew it would end. At the very least, we could expect to be without electricity and phone service for weeks until the computers all got fixed. A lot of people were taken in by this, and not just the folks who watch Jerry Springer and believe in their hearts that pro-wrestling is real. Some rational, intelligent people spent scads of cash to equip themselves for Y2K.
    I guess I shouldn’t be shocked that the nation swallowed this one hook, line and sinker; we are after all the same nation who elected Bill Clinton, not once but twice. So what happened to the people who came up with this prediction? Why weren’t they on television, the morning of Jan 1. with sheepish grins on their faces? They probably laughed all the way to the bank, and then slipped into obscurity to join the ozone freaks.

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    People should apologize for mistakes