An Apology, A promise, and Gratitude:
I just wanted to say that I’m really sorry for earlier. I said something wrong, and in a way that may have hurt you. This is not to say that you are hurt, or that there’s anything wrong if you are. However, if you are, I acknowledge that I had a hand in that. And I’m sorry about that.
I promise that I didn’t mean to. I didn’t think that what I was saying was offensive, that you would disagree so strongly. But I also know that just because I didn’t mean to be offensive doesn’t mean that what I said was not offensive. Words spoken with no ill-intent can also be words that are spoken without intention or thought at all; such words can be hurtful or offensive.
But even as I ask for forgiveness, I am asking for more, if you will hear me out. Because I didn’t know that what I was doing was wrong, and I still don’t understand it. This is not to say I don’t believe you – I’ve known you for a while, and in all that time I’ve learned that you’re a reasonable person. You’re smart and fun to be around, and we’ve agreed on so many other things. No, I think that the problem lies with me. But, the thing is, I don’t know what my problem is, precisely.
I’m not asking you to “prove” that what I said is harmful. Obviously I did something wrong. But I’m asking, and you may of course say no, if you will educate me.
You could do this by talking to me some more, if you’d like. I’d be honored if you did. It’d be a very kind thing, given that I’ve already said offensive things to you. However, I know that in my experiences, I get very annoyed at having to educate people about things they should already know. So, instead of having to do all the leg-work yourself, do you know any books I should be reading? I did some searching on Google about this topic, and I wanted to know if there were any blogs or websites I should seek out? Avoid?
I know that you risk, in doing this, that I will not change my mind. That you will have gone out of your way to educate me, expending what may be a tremendous effort, and I will stay the same, or become more firmly entrenched in something you think is really wrong. But still I ask you if you will.
Regardless of your answer, I do promise you that I will continue to search, to read, to attempt to educate myself. Because you are important to me, this is important to me. Further, because you are a moral person who I respect, and I may have acted less moral than you, this is a moral issue I care about on its own merits.
I know it would have been best for me to start this self-education twenty years ago. But I also know that the second best time is today.
So I’m starting.
And regardless of whether you’ll be coming through it with me, I thank you for starting it out for me.