Earlier today I started to back out in front of someone. Thankfully, I looked again before I continued and she was paying enough attention to catch me backing out before she hit me. She stopped her car, I continued to back out, and I tried to tell her that I was sorry from my car, but I didn’t know how. As I put my hands up, they didn’t know what to do. I mouthed the words, “I’m sorry” as I put one hand over my heart and shook my head. She nodded at me and parked in the spot that I had previously occupied and I drove away.
For the entire day I have been plagued with the question…
“Why isn’t there a universal sign to tell someone that you are sorry?”
I don’t know of a single individual, that doesn’t recognize the “Middle Finger” as a sign of Fuck you, you are an idiot etc…so why isn’t there a sign that says I’m sorry?!?!?
As a society are we that accustomed to negativity and blame that we know how to “tell someone off”, but we don’t know how to apologize? Is it bigger than that? Do we not know how to accept responsibility for our own shortcomings?
I spent almost an hour on google trying to find a “universal sign” for I’m sorry. The closest thing I could find was the ASL or American Sign Language, and again that is not universal, and from any kind of distance would appear that I was giving the middle finger.
What would you do in a situation like that? How do you convey that YOU SCREWED UP, when another driver can’t clearly see your facial expressions or hear your voice? I had even thought of pulling over and getting out of my car to apologize, but in the city I live in you DON’T just walk up to someone’s car and not expect to get shot.
I’m sure I will go back to my busy life soon, and “forget” this incident, but I still wonder…. “Why isn’t there a sign for apologies?!?!?”