One of the things organized religions do well are setting aside specific days for important and healing moments. Where rituals turn from service to some higher power to interaction courtesy and respect to the highest power IMHO, the people we live and live for.
As we sit in the heart of Yom Kippur, I’m inspired by the day. There is so much to the ritual of Yom Kippur as I understand it (an outsider) that puts me in position to do my own apology: if I’ve done anything to hurt or offend you, I apologize. If I can make it better, let me know and I assuredly will. It’s not just Yom Kippur, as Sanskrit has also taught us and as my Jain family knows too well with Paryushan and DA’s Lakshan. Which goes back to the original point of many faiths, cultures and religions getting something like this right.
FWIW, the apology is as much about the words (many say that’s the easy part but that isn’t true or more people would do it more often; and also, the hardest step is the first, shifting energy from potential to kinetic so I argue that leading with the words often enables momentum against the sincerity of the apology and ultimately, the resolution.)
Yom Kippur is the holiest day for a reason. My favorite part is when people share their apologies in the group; and what happens next sounds magical: the group leans in and shifts the context from the individual apologizing to the group absorbing ownership. From “I did this” and “I apologize” to “we did this” and “we apologize”. Sins, errors, mistakes—are communal. It’s the highest form of one of my favorite guiding principles, civic responsibility and the social contract.
So if you are apologizing. And I love you (so many of you I do), then as someone who loves you I say the burden is mine too. Share the weight of your known and unknown regrets; because as my Jewish friends have taught me in the past 24 hours, apologies and forgiveness love company in a way more inspiring way than misery.
What’s best about these days of forgiveness? You need not follow this faith or any faith to participate. Which is why I’m participating. You can too.
If you owe an apology. Or if you acknowledge we make mistakes that we never see; embrace the moment. We’re with you. And for those formally embracing the day, may your fast be easy.PS: As a fan of slow jammy 80s covers, I thought sharing this would be WAY better than sharing a Bieber hit: