Why you shouldn’t apologize
There will be a time in your life when the mob, your colleagues, or even your friends will demand that you apologize.
If their grievances are legitimate and you agree with them, you should do like a Canadian and indeed, apologize—the capacity for introspection and humility is a valuable trait. But if you genuinely disagree, you should never apologize.
But why? Wouldn’t it be easier to apologize so that it all goes away?
But in truth, when the mob senses weakness, they come at you like a seagull at a beachside picnic, spotting your vulnerability (and sandwich) from miles away. Just like a bully doesn’t tend to pick on the kid who fights back. Apologize, and they’ll think they've got you on a leash. They’ve got power over you. And don’t they? After all, they were just able to make you say something you don’t believe.
But if you don’t mind about others having control over you, consider what it is that you’re contributing to. With each unwarranted apology, the mob of bullies grows more empowered and their fangs get sharper. They get used to getting what they want and they are hungry for more—like vampires at a blood bank—so they go after others next. Even if they didn’t manage to destroy your life, they’re ready to wreak havoc on their next target because they face as much opposition as, well, they face as much opposition as a feather floating in still air.
Now, onto the small matter of standing by your principles. Do you believe the words you’ve spoken, the points you’ve made, or in the actions you’ve taken? Do those things matter to you? Unyielding adherence to your principles is not a sign of stubbornness; rather, it's an indication of strength and conviction. Apologizing when you genuinely believe you're right erodes the foundation of those principles. It dilutes your authenticity and surrenders the moral high ground.
Consider this: apologizing for the sake of appeasement doesn't foster understanding; it fosters compliance.
What’s more important, popularity and acceptance by the people who don’t respect you or your right to your views—or staying true to your beliefs and maintaining your integrity?
The vocal minority should not get to dictate your beliefs through the acts of silencing and bullying. If they would like to sway you to their way of thinking, they should be willing to do the work of engaging in thoughtful, respectful dialogue that relies on facts and reason, rather than peer pressure.
So instead of apologizing, stand your ground, politely, but firmly…and provide an opportunity for a constructive conversation for those who approach in good faith. Those unwilling to, don’t matter. After all, why would you respect someone who doesn’t respect you enough to have a conversation?
So, the next time you find yourself pressured to apologize for something you believe in, consider the potential consequences not just for yourself but for the discourse at large. Should the voices of bullies matter, or should we seek to amplify and protect those voices willing to defend and present their ideas with integrity? Ultimately, the refusal to apologize represents a commitment to authenticity, which is in short supply today. It's not just about holding onto our beliefs; it's about defending the very essence of meaningful dialogue and preserving the space for diverse perspectives to thrive.
For that to happen, we must choose principles over appeasement.
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