March 13 : Accepting Apologies

Sometimes unpleasant words are said when conflicts happen between people. When somebody apologises to us afterward, it is important that we accept the apology and release any anger or grudge we may still hold. It is also important not to rub others’ mistakes in their faces by criticising them or continuing to hold ill will. 

When others make an apology, it is a time to rejoice, but not because they acknowledged that they were wrong and we can say, “Oh, I’m victorious.” Rather, we rejoice because the other person has been able to grow. Expressing regret for their actions helps them to purify the negative karma they had created. By rejoicing, we support them in their virtuous endeavour. 

This teaching about accepting apologies comes out very strongly in the Bodhisattva vows. It is included both in the root vows and the secondary vows, so let us remember to accept others’ apologies. We can begin this process by remembering when people have apologised to us in the past and asking ourselves if we sincerely accepted the apology. If we have, good. If we have not, then let us accept their apology now and let go of our own stories about the situation. We need to remember to practise gracefully accepting apologies in the present and the future. 

“365 Gems of Wisdom” First Volume (January — March) e-book is out now!