Many years ago, I came across the following meme about unforgiveness on Facebook:

Grab a plate and throw it on the ground.

– OK done.

Did it break?

– Yes.

Now, say sorry to it.

– Sorry.

Did it go back to the way it was before?

– No.

Now, do you understand?

The ‘broken plate’ analogy suggests a serious transgression: something that cannot be fixed with one word. Think about it in this way: even if the plate is glued back together, no one will want to eat off it again. It would not even work as a decorative plate if it has fancy designs on it. So, whatever the transgression, the damage cannot be repaired, or undone.

In most cases, when someone says ‘sorry’, the expected responses from the one who was harmed are: “It’s OK”; “That’s alright”, or “I accept your apology”.

Will a seriously victimized individual respond to an apology from the perpetrator with one of those three phrases mentioned above? Would you?

The other thing about those phrases is that there is implicit consent, or condonation embedded within the meaning of those words. Given the power of words to create reality, the victimized person is inviting the same behavior into their world even if not by the same transgressor. I discussed this phenomenon many years ago in the following video: