Sunday, September 6, 2020
Seventeenth Day of Elul 5780
We have considered the first two steps we have to take to make a real apology and ask forgiveness from someone we have hurt. We have resolved to state clearly and specifically what we did wrong, and we have resolved to express remorse and determination to do better. Today, we’ll go on to the third step, making amends.
Making amends means doing whatever we can to make up for the hurt we have caused. It means taking steps to right our wrongs. This is never easy because it is never completely possible to undo something that has been done, but we can try.
How do we do that? Start by asking the person you have hurt, “What can I do to make this up to you?” The person may say, “There is nothing you can do,” or “you don’t need to do anything,” but you still may want to consider doing something like this.
• If there is a direct way to make up for a harm, do it. Offer to pay with money, time, or replacement goods to make up for what was lost.
• Making amends can be amending your behavior. Let the person you have hurt know that you are making a tangible change to prevent a recurrence. This could be making a plan for keeping better track of your time and commitments, changing the way you operate your business, or seeking outside help for a recurring problem in your behavior.
• Offer to help the person you hurt with something unrelated to the harm, but which is important to them. You could donate to a charity they care about, help them with a problem they are facing, or just do a simple favor. Remember that actions speak louder than words and your help may restore faith and goodwill in a relationship.
Practice for this day:
Think of a mistake or hurt that you have committed that you want to apologize for. (Again, pick something small). Write down something you can offer to do to make amends for the hurt you caused. Be sure that it is something that is real, reasonable, doable, and likely to be seen as helpful by the person you hurt.