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I have heard this phrase uttered many times by Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS as part of “Gibbs rules.” Today I discovered that it’s actually a John Wayne quote from “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.”

In either case though I have to disagree. Why in the world is apologizing for something a sign of weakness? Seems to me that knowing you made a mistake and owning up to it is a sign of strength and character.

To me the weakness lies in not being sorry.

I would think most things that need to be apologized for are accidents. Spilling on the carpet, bumping in the mall, even a fender bender. An apology is extended and accepted and that’s that.

Even harsher misgivings deserve and get apologies. Divorces, cheating, even murder. These people have remorse and have the strength to rise above and ask for forgiveness.

People who hurt on purpose, those are the weak people. Out there preying on the vulnerable, honest and open-hearted. These are the people who I will never understand. They don’t think they’re doing any harm so there is nothing to apologize for. Yet they have no idea the long, deep, life-long scars they leave behind.

They are just plain bullies and ultimately the weakness lies within themselves.

So if you’ve wronged somebody step up and apologize. Be strong and do the right thing.

From now on the quote is, “Always apologize, it’s a sign of strength.”