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Bless all of our hearts. When did we all lose ourselves and become hateful, angry, argumentative people with no respect...

Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly

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Sunday, July 7, 2019

Who knows why, but I’ve been reflecting about apologizing lately.

Actually, I know only too well why this subject has been on my mind. Of all the people I could name who have constant reason to say “I’m sorry,” I hold a commanding lead in my own personal polling. I’m sure I’ll remain the frontrunner.

I know there’s been some buzz in the news recently about the subject of public apology, but to be honest, I know I can’t be focused on that ahead of my own personal need to improve.

Trying to focus on relationship rather than religiosity and not sound too churchy, let me say I believe we’re all called basically to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly. Consistently doing the right — or just — thing and keeping a humble attitude is really hard for me, but I have no trouble whatsoever placing a high value on mercy. I believe, with Shakespeare, that the quality of mercy is not constrained or forced but rather “drops as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath,” and I’m everlastingly grateful that I receive so much grace from God and others instead of getting what I truly deserve.

But of course if I hope to receive mercy from others and have them “give me a break,” so to speak, I have to be ready not only to extend mercy myself but to show proper remorse, which begins with saying, “I’m sorry.”

The mental outline I try to follow — with spotty success — is to say, in so many words, “I’m sorry; I was wrong; please forgive me.” I usually don’t have much trouble with the feeling contrite part or with asking to be forgiven (due to lots of practice), but admitting I was wrong is always a challenge.

What if I’m asked or expected to apologize in some rare instance in which I genuinely don’t feel I was wrong? In that case, I believe it’s appropriate to slightly alter a straightforward admission of wrongdoing to something like, “I’m so sorry. It was surely not my intention to hurt or wrong you, but I can see that my words or actions have done so, and I ask you to please forgive me for that.”

I think these general principles apply not only in our private lives but in diplomacy, in business and in all of the co-equal branches of public service at the state or national level. I know there are plenty of people whose mantra is, “Never apologize, never explain,” but do you really want to work or serve with any of them for long?

Apologies between one nation and another are usually more formal and nuanced, of course, and are ordinarily more a matter of accepting responsibility rather than an expression of genuine humility or remorse, but in some instances, just about every variety of sincere apology has its place. In civil legal disputes, naturally, apologies are more complicated in that they can be interpreted as an admission of guilt and, thus, financial liability. In criminal court, unfortunately, apologies are almost always limited to the sentencing phase in an attempt to lessen one’s punishment.

What if a call or demand for an apology is also clearly part of a premeditated attack? I readily admit I’ve never been in that situation. I hope I would try not to highlight any ulterior motives, leaving that for my attacker to wrestle with, and would promptly apologize – letting the chips fall where they may.

It’s mighty easy to say or think I would do that: it’s quite another to know I would do it.

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Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Look

July 17, 2019

For the last five months Winterville has been home to a new restaurant that has been gaining a steady and devoted foodie fan base.

Main and Mill Oyster Bar and Tavern has taken over the old Wimpies building at 204 W. Main St. The same layout has been retained with welcoming, warm, and wide open…

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July 17, 2019

Q Help me understand the recent news about diet soda and stroke risk. CK, Greenville

A I got lots of questions about the news headlines that screamed “drinking two or more diet beverages a day linked to high risk of stroke, heart attacks!” There often is a difference between the…

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July 17, 2019

Whether you plan on hiking, visiting the beach or partaking in any other outdoor activity this summer, knowing what to do and being prepared in case of an emergency can help save a life.

Approximately 40 percent of trauma-related deaths worldwide can be attributed to bleeding or its consequences.…

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July 14, 2019

When I was in college, I had a friend who bragged he could remember every meal he ever ate.

Rob used to regale us with tales of meals past, from the first time he ever tried a club sandwich (“Double the sandwich goodness! Sheer genius!) to his unfortunate encounters with his grandma’s…

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July 14, 2019

I recently passed an important milestone on the fascinating journey of growing older: being told it was time for cataract surgery.

For 35 years, I’ve worn progressive, no-line bifocals with transition lenses that darken and lighten automatically. One pair of glasses for both reading and…

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July 10, 2019

Cd’s Grill has celebrated its one-year anniversary and updated its menu and hours just in time for summer. If you’re seeking comfort food in all its forms with a welcoming atmosphere, then Cd’s should be your next food stop.

The restaurant is located at 111 W. Fire Tower Road,…

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July 10, 2019

Q What causes slow metabolism? How do you know when you have it? What foods should you avoid or what should I be sure to eat? Big Daddy, Winterville.

A If you Google slow metabolism you will get all kinds of diet information — much of it is inaccurate. Katayoon D., a second-year Brody student…

Kolasa, Kathy

July 07, 2019

Who knows why, but I’ve been reflecting about apologizing lately.

Actually, I know only too well why this subject has been on my mind. Of all the people I could name who have constant reason to say “I’m sorry,” I hold a commanding lead in my own personal polling. I’m…

Bob Garner.jpg

July 03, 2019

Asthma is a common condition among children, especially in Pitt County. Here, 15 percent of school students are diagnosed with asthma, a higher rate than the state average.

Asthma can be a vexing condition for children. It’s caused by swelling of the airways that can lead to coughing,…

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July 03, 2019

Q I lost 40 pounds over the last year by watching what I eat, and walking and I feel great. I still have a way to go to be at a healthy weight. We are headed to a family reunion for a week and I am scared to death that I am going to blow it all. What advice do you have? By the way I was surprised…

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