I love the author of "The Alchemist". I follow him on facebook and his updates are incredibly penetrating. Sometimes he even adds 10 seconds moral stories, which often questions my own ability to respond to the world and in a good way, too! Today's story was about apologies or, as goes the title, "Sincere Repentance".
My parents taught me to apologize whenever I am wronged and even if I am right, I must not insist my cause. That was one of the many rules in our house. For many years I've been cynical towards their teaching and often fought against that rule. Why must I apologize to someone who is, by fact, erroneous and vulgar and worse than an average barbarian? It is mortifying when that barbarian accepts the apologies of his rival with hours of criticism on his personal being.
I am glad that someone at least agree with me: Paolo Coelho. In the short story, "Sincere Repentance" the monk, Chu Lai is defeated by a professor. Although the professor does not want to apologize for humiliating the monk, his wife forces him to do it. Chu Lai, surprisingly does not accept the professor's apology. The wife is furious and demands why. Chu Lai reasons that to accept an apology that is not sincere would only cause tension between them and in a long run, it is better for the professor to acknowledge that he is angry than live his whole life hating Chu Lai.
I love how Chu Lai understood. He clearly understands that forced apology does not create harmony and that he accepts that not everyone can adhere to one's ideas and principles. I bet after this, the professor witnesses why Chu Lai is greatly respected and becomes friends with him.
Apologizing to a man like Chu Lai is enlightening, but to apologize to a moron is suicide. How often do you come across an intellect? Not as often as you meet a jerk. However, I do take to consideration the rewards of humility: inner peace.