There are some trains of thought that suggest saying sorry is a sign of weakness, a sign that you made a mistake, something you never, ever admit to. Other trains tell you that to be a gentleman (or at least try to be) you have to apologize put your hand up when you screw up, own up and own everything you do, including the wrong things that you do.
Two years ago, my woman I live with who is related to be by marriage, Julie, and myself, Nathan, both wrote independent articles bemoaning the fact that because of changes, show goers to the airshow (The Great Lakes International Air Show) would no longer be able to drive in and park their vehicles on site, rather there would be offsite parking and provided shuttles to and fro. The reason for the bemoaning was the loss of what we believed to be an important part of the show, the ability to sit in the vehicle during rain showers (which had happened during the previous show) and the possibility of storing seats, picnic and various other ‘things’. To us, nothing truly says air show like slightly stale sandwiches, warm pop and a bag of chips.
Since the air show began, we had attended each one with the exception of the last one. With both of us huge fans of planes, insanely loud low level passes and giving our children to discover what we both love so much, it was almost painful not to attend. It wasn’t a particular stand or protest, rather simply trying to avoid being hypocritical.
Speaking of critical, our remarks were never disparaging or a slight against the actual air show. In our humble experience there has been very little wrong with the previous shows. When you truly love something, it perhaps can colour your judgement but neither of us had any problems up til two years ago. However, our comments were taken as a criticism of the actual air show in general. Whether the comments were misunderstood due to the illiterate writing ability of the writers, or the justifiable pride of being involved with the show itself, the result was that they were taken the wrong way and not the way they were intended.
The truth is that, personally, there are very few things I care passionately enough to be negative in print. Racism and homophobia are two hot button subjects with me that tend to piss me off and get me writing. Add to that problems with the education system, mis-treatment of certain professions and you get the idea.
Once it became clear that our opinions may have been misconstrued, I went straight to the keyboard to attempt to clarify the situation and opinions. I even made the offer to post the alternative opinion, which was not taken up.
The danger of writing something that others may read is that someone will disagree with you and/or read something into the writing that you had not intended. The one upside of getting feedback, regardless of it being positive or negative, is that it is proof that your writterings have been read by someone. You have to accept the risk as part of the process and attempt to rectify or explain the issue.
In this, and other, instances I never try to ignore what is going on. Apologize when it is called for, clarify when needed and stand your ground when you truly believe, but always put your name to it.