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Tips For Making Amends
Dr. Dale V. Atkins, July 2012

We all make mistakes. If you're like every other human, you may make an unfortunate decision or a hurtful remark, perhaps unintentionally. You may put your foot in your mouth, do something that was not considerate, or snap at someone if you are having a bad day.

Whatever mistake you may make, big or small, do not act as if it did not happen. Deal with it. Immediately assume responsibility for it and try, earnestly, to understand the effects of what you did. Do whatever you can to make the situation right. Apologize, make restitution, offer assistance. If you follow any religious guidelines, you will probably try to make amends in a way that is comfortable for you morally - but do it, and quickly.

Below I offer a few tips to guide your actions:

Don't Deny Your Act. - The bigger part of taking responsibility is acceptance. Once you accept that you did, in fact, make a mistake, you are one step closer to becoming a stronger, more authentic person.

A Mistake Is Not an Obituary. - You are human, alive, and worthy. Rectify the mistake and live your life.

Avoid Repeating the Mistake. - Find ways to learn from what you said or did, be conscious about how you can avoid behaving similarly in the future, and then find ways, when faced with a similar situation, to act or react differently.

Do Many Acts of Kindness. - It will be easier and more meaningful to move on with your life if you focus on how you are going to offset the balance of what you did or said.

Choose actions, deeds, and words that will make you proud of yourself. Live each day with the guidance of Dr. Seuss: "Today I shall behave as if this is the day I will be remembered."

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