Thursday, November 26, 2009

Meaningless apologies

Update 12/28/09.--Sometime in mid-December the dogs were gone. I also discovered he occasionally buys old cars or trucks, usually 1970-80's models and usually not working very well. He fixes and sells them. When he wanted to borrow some tools, I had to remind him of the ban on working on cars on the apartment complex property. They only allow emergency or occasional "light" maintenance work, and washing/cleaning.

Original post.--Apologies are meaningless when it's obvious it's not meant to be one. Not even an explanation, an excuse or a reason. Just mental exercise for the person giving it to think they really did apologize. Except it wasn't meant to be more than words, passing the person listening and falling far behind onto ground.

Nothing makes an apology more meaningless when it doesn't really change anything. And what I've noticed more and more is that more and more young people don't seem to care if they give one or not for not being considerate, or even worse. And more and more young people give them when it's just something to say because they don't really have an answer why they got caught doing something or hurting someone.

I've had young people as neighbors over the years, and especially most of the recent years. And despite the rules they agreed to when they signed the lease, they seem to think it doesn't apply to them, they can do whatever they want, and no one has the right to complain. They're simply not just consciously ignorant, they're intentionally ignorant. To the extreme.

They act and then later say, "I'm sorry.", like it's supposed to going to make their actions acceptable and we can't say or do anything. This whole attitude and behavior is beyond understanding. There are plently of people of all ages who apologize with good intentions and meaning. It's just those few, and many young people, who are indifferent to everyone else, so their apologizies are meaningless.

And my example. For one, our complex has a noise curfew from 10pm to 8 am. It's reasonable so everyone can be assured we'll all have a quiet period to sleep. It didn't work from a neighbor who stayed up to the early hours, sometimes all night, having a party with friends. At least 2 or 3 times a week. He almost always apologized to the manager but continued to have the friends and parties.

He eventually left when they raised the rent more than he could afford. The new neighbor was ok for the first two months but then brought in some dogs we later learned he's been boarding elsehwere trying to find a new home but they evicted the dogs for being too noisy. The new neighbor works from 8 pm to 5 am. And yes, you guessed it, the dogs like to bark and howl throughout the night until he gets home.

Well, he apologized to us, the neighbors, for his dogs and explained the story (above), but he hasn't changed the situation with the dogs. He didn't find a new boarding home for them. He hasn't found a new home for them. So, he keeps them in his place, where they bark and howl whenever he, and sometime he and his girlfriend, aren't home.

An empty apology. What else can you see and say? It's like he really doesn't care his dogs bother the neighbors or his dogs are violating the lease. We're supposed to excuse him because he can't find a home of any sort for his dogs? But he signed the lease. Except he didn't read the lease about dogs or noise, or even other things he's done in the few months he's lived here.

The problem is if we call him out on his apology, asking what it means if nothing changes, or what he plans to do to change the situation, he'll simply argue, as others have in the past, that he, or they, have no choice at the moment, except for an apology. And for many reasons, there's some truth to that. But an apology doesn't solve the problem.

And it's not enough to accept it when there's no sign of remose or any sign of change. And so the apology is meaningless, not only on the face of it but in the spirit of it. These apologies are better off not said. It's a waste of words, doesn't have any value and only lets the other person know you're inconsiderate. You've proven that with your actions, your words only affirm your ignorance.

But people still give them, like it really means something or really changes anything.

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