Oh, My bad


“Did I hit you?  My bad?”, “Your name isn’t Corky?** My bad”, “Ham not bacon?  My bad”,  “A little girl, not a boy?  My Bad”

These two little words make my blood absolutely boil.  No matter where I turn, what the situation, I can’t seem to escape them.  They’ve come in like a plague and they are part in parcel to the destruction of our manners, our accountability. 

What ever happened to “I’m sorry”?

There’s a difference you know, between “My bad” and “I’m sorry”, it might not seem like it but there is.  To say you’re sorry shows remorse, it requires humility & it acknowledges that you not only did something wrong, but that you regret that it has hurt/offended/injured the person you’re saying it to. 

To say you’re sorry means you feel bad for the outcome.  You say it to take responsibility for your actions and often times it is the first step in repairing the damage that’s been caused.

Now, think about being on the receiving end, being the person who’s in need of the apology.  When your feelings are really hurt, hearing “I’m sorry” can be almost soothing.  It can mean the difference between a destroyed relationship & a mended one, a chance to open up, to talk, to fix it not trash it. 

There’s a humility found in saying “I’m sorry” and an accountability that allows for us to move forward.

Let’s take that same hurt, that same situation and instead of the offender saying to you “I’m so sorry I hurt you” they say, “Oh, my bad” how does it make you feel?

To me it’s cold, while there might be a little remorse in the eyes, quite often it’s missing, as is the accountability and emotion.  There’s no chance to feel connected, there’s no soothing of the hurt, just a flippant comment and a chill in the air. 

I’m a firm believer in taking ownership for our actions, the great ones and the wrong ones.  I apologize when I believe I’ve done something that has caused another pain or upset (I may not always be sorry for what I’ve said, but I will be sorry that how I said it hurt.  We don’t always have to agree but we do have to try to be gentle) not because I feel like I have to but because I want to.  It has nothing to do with “being Canadian” and everything to do with trying to be a good person.  I know many a “non-Canadian” who show the same regret & remorse when they feel they’ve done something wrong.

To be able to say you’re sorry falls into the main manners category right next to please & thank you in our house.  We’re all human, and at that we are faulted.  Which means from time to time we’re going to mess up, we’re bound to get things wrong and sometimes people are going to get hurt in the wake of that.  Try as we may sometimes, it’s simply unavoidable.

When we realize we’ve done the wrong, there’s nothing left to do but to apologize, to make reparations and to say we’re “SORRY!”  Sometimes for me, that “I’m sorry” goes just as far in teaching me a lesson as it does healing those whom I’ve hurt.  These days it seems this pertains to my children more than anyone!

I just simply can’t say the same for “my bad”.  It doesn’t repair my hurt feelings, if anything it leaves me feeling worse than before.  In my books it’s bad manners and is yet another symptom of the ugly disease of entitlement that is sweeping through our culture.  Walking around the school yard, listening to the way children engage with parents, teenage store clerks speak to the elderly & full grown adults treat each other leaves me nauseous. 

I don’t know about you but I want more for my children than a life filled with entitlement.  There’s no happiness in feeling like the world owed you something and then let you down.  There’s no comfort in feeling justified to do wrong because they hurt you first and lasting love simply can’t breathe when “I” is so much more important than “you”.

There is however, a satisfaction in earning your way, true love in giving from your heart, and a beautiful healing peace that’s found in a quiet “I’m sorry” as a hurt begins to heal.

**Starbucks Baristas have on more than one occasion written “Corky” on Corey’s cup instead of “Corey”**

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