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27th September 1998

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Dear DaughterIs it hard to say 'I'm Sorry?'

My darling daughter,

A few days ago your friend Amali was here. She was in a very pensive mood, which was so unusual that I asked her what was wrong. Apparently she had had a terrific row with Raja, her boy-friend. What the argument was about she herself was not very clear, but she had made some nasty and cruel remarks. Hurt by what she had said and her refusal to listen to him, Raja had gone back to his office and since that day she had not heard from him.

"Why don't you telephone him and say that you are sorry for losing your temper," I asked. "Why should I? It was his fault in the first place," she said. "What does it matter whose fault it was, you say you love him, you are longing for his friendship, the only way you can get it back is to say you are sorry and mean it," I added.

Eventually Amali followed my advice and I saw her yesterday with Raja, once again. But the conversation I had with her made me wonder daughter, why are we so reluctant to say we are sorry. I read somewhere, 'an apology is a friendship preserver, an antidote for hatred. It is not a sign of weakness and it costs nothing but one's pride and saves more than it costs'. I think the ability to say sorry is needed in every home! Daughter I often think it is a false sense of pride that prevents people saying sorry, apologizing for a mistake made. Why can't we realize that to admit a fault is not something demeaning? To my mind to say sorry is a sign of strength - the strength of one's character, the sure knowledge that admitting a mistake, or apologizing does not detract from one's intrinsic worth. Would you agree with me? I think you will, for many have been the times I have apologized to you for losing my temper, or being irritable and you even from childhood would come and say, 'Sorry,' so trustingly, especially when you had been naughty that I could never really scold you. Perhaps, it is in the home that one should first learn how important it is to say, 'Sorry' when one does something wrong, or hurts another



Appearing on our cover and in a fashion spread for the Mirror is Andrea Rajaratnam, a Sri Lankan who makes her home in the U.K. Andrea posed for the Mirror at the Galadari Hotel while on holiday recently. Pix by Mettasena



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