...to refrain from lashing out at someone when you want to do so with all your being is agony. It is a form of suffering. You not only suffer the original loss of happiness, reputation, and opportunity, but now you forgo the consolation of inflicting the same on them. You are absorbing the debt, taking the cost of it completely on yourself instead of taking it out on the other person. It hurts terribly. -Tim Keller, The Reason for God
As you know by now, the tactic of absorbing the debt, described above, is the polar opposite of what I did yesterday. And so today, in an attempt to somehow right the wrong that I'd committed, I set out to apologize.
This morning, I returned to the scene of the crime with a note of apology. On nice stationery, in my best Hangul lettering, I'd written out I am very sorry. Before I entered the store, I noticed the woman whom I offended laughing and talking animatedly. Once she caught sight of me, however, her entire demeanor changed, and her face went blank.
I presented the note as respectfully as I could -with two hands, while slightly bowing and lowering my head- and she accepted it. Then, in English, I repeated how sorry I was. Before I left, she gave me a half smile, which I was grateful to receive.
It will likely be awhile before I return to that shop, but at least whenever I do, I'm hopeful things will be back to normal. And regardless of whether or not they are, I learned a great deal from this experience.