Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I'm Sorry... 

I now remember that when I was at Caux, I had the opportunity to hear a talk given by Aaron Lazare, a psychologist and professor whose area of expertise is shame and humiliation. His talk was all about apology, how to make one, what a good one sounds like and accomplishes, what a bad one sounds like and accomplishes, and the power that lies in both. It really was an eye-opening lecture for me, and I've tried to employ his methods (or what I've remembered of them) whenever I've needed to make an apology. In one case, a broken relationship of mine experienced reconciliation when I took initiative to make a heartfelt apology, which was one of the hardest things I have ever done.

When I was home for Spring Break, my father was telling me about the Bonita Springs Speakers Assembly, of which he is now the President, and how Dr. Lazare was an upcoming speaker who would talk about apology. Well, that jogged my memory and I said, "I think I've heard him before. I think he spoke to us at Caux, but I can't be sure." I knew we had a talk about apology that I liked, but I couldn't remember the guy's name, though Lazare sounded right.

So, today, in the mail, Dad sent me a copy of Dr. Lazare's book, On Apology. I quickly turned to the acknowledgments section, where he sure enough writes, "Bryan Hamlin was responsible for inviting me to present my ideas to an international audience at Caux, Switzerland..." I had remembere correctly - it was him! Then I flip to the title page and see that Dr. Lazare had autographed the book for me and addressed the autograph to "Ryan Whitley, Caux Scholar 2002". Very nice! I feel privileged that I got to hear some of his ideas before they came out in this book and excited that now I get to read them and have them in my library.

On a side note, my Switzerland trip prompted me to write a series of editorials for Wake Forest's Paper, The Old Gold and Black, one of which was about apology, taking its ideas from Dr. Lazare's talk. Sometime this weekend, I will post all those editorials and then link to them in my sidebar, so that they are available. I used to have them on my old website, but never got around to putting them here. So, when you see about 10 long posts all for one day, you'll know what has happened.



Best writing in the OGB. The editorials, I mean.

By Blogger Hudd, at 3:32 AM  

It was not the Bonita Springs Speakers Assembly but just a special event at Northern Trust Bank. 30 to 40 people of the much larger number invited showed to hear Dr. Lazare talk about his book. The event was co-sponsored by the UMass Medical Foundation, which was responsible giving each attendee a copy of the book which Dr. Lazare graciously incribed for us. Dr. Lazare id the chancellor at the Umass Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

By Anonymous Dad, at 11:48 PM  

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