Rule 43. Don’t apologize, it’s a sign of weakness, but to admit it when your wrong is a sign of strength.
This rule is taken from John Ford’s enduring classic, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), starring none other than John Wayne.
We live in a day and age when everyone’s apologizing, we apologize to every ethnicity, we apologize to every country, we apologize for what we believe. These apologies are nothing more than empty words from people who do not possess the strength to stand for what they believe.
APOL’OGIZE, v.i. To make an apology; to write or speak in favor of, or to make excuse for; followed by for.
APOL’OGY, n. [Gr. discourse.] An excuse; something said or written in defense or extenuation of what appears to others wrong, or unjustifiable; or of what may be liable to disapprobation. It may be an extenuation of what is not perfectly justifiable, or a vindication of what is or may be disapproved, but which the apologist deems to be right.
– Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
There is a difference between saying, “Sorry, but…” or, “Sorry, however…” and, “I made a mistake.” or, “I was wrong.”
There are few things more difficult, or noble, for a man to do than humble himself, and admitting when you are wrong is doing just that.