I’m sure you heard or saw the unfortunate miscall by umpire Jim Joyce of Detroit Tiger pitcher Armando Galarraga’s near perfect game. The noteworthy aspect of this story was what followed the event. The response by both parties seemed unique and counter-cultural. For one thing, the umpire openly acknowledged he made the wrong call and apologized directly to the pitcher. The pitcher accepted the apology and forgave the umpire. Boy, our world would be a much better place if others acted in kind. It takes courage to apologize, forgive and accept the grace from others. I witness the opposite of this everyday in my practice. Many couples can’t acknowledge wrongdoing, chose not to forgive, and hold grudges forever. The other aspect of this situation is that some people can’t forgive themselves and therefore can’t accept the forgiveness of others. Both Galarraga and Joyce showed through this situation that forgiveness is possible even when the stakes are high and emotions intense. Although perfection is often highly rewarded , especially in the case of a major league pitcher, I believe that forgiveness and grace are qualities of much greater value. My hope is that others take note of these men’s reactions and responses rather than fixating on Joyce’s mistake. Unfortunately, many of us focus on our flaws and mistakes rather than our reactions and responses which can override the negative. Respond like these two men did and accept responsibility, choose forgiveness, and let it go. It makes for a different life experience and I’m certain you’ll enjoy the results.
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