Wednesday, March 20, 2013

My Thanks and Apology to Malcolm and Lynette

After completing the last post and feeling so positive about my experience in New Zealand, I learned sadly I had committed a gaffe of monumental proportion for not acknowledging in writing the terrific hospitality shown me by my friends who cared for me in Wellington last week.  Worse than that, a previous post, which I had written in a solitary mood during a brief period of physical and emotional discomfort several days after leaving their house, gave them the impression that I was having a dreadful time in New Zealand. Worse yet, the incredible congeniality and kindness they so graciously provided me, I had marginalized by my negative tone in which I spoke of feeling lonely and disoriented.

I write this addendum tonight embarrassed and regretful for my lack of sensitivity that the words in that post expressed to them and as a heartfelt apology for all of my readers to see.

In point of fact, Malcolm and Lynette Chapman showed me incredible kindness and gave me an amazing amount of time and energy in order that I saw and experienced their world. They opened up their home to me and treated me with such deference that I felt we had truly become lasting friends. As I left their house and thanked them, I believed I had experienced a profound meaning in the value of world travel, namely, that it bridges gaps across miles and cultural differences and helps bring people together who would have otherwise never have known one another. It can link humanity in such a positive way. I believe their effort was also a reflection held by the majority of New Zealand's people to welcome visitors to their beautiful country with a genuine attempt to make guests feel comfortable and valued.

Like so many moments in life I wish I could undo what I have done. It is pointless to explain away my shortcomings or my lack of manners or predilection toward carelessness. The damage has been done and this wrongdoing will remain in me a poignant reminder of my stay and my fallibility as a person. I take this opportunity to restate to those who follow me to know how sorry I am for having hurt these people's feelings and apologize directly to them for my actions and to publicly thank them for their fantastic hospitality.

1 comment:

  1. It's called an "acknowledgment deficit," and it comes with the territory. I've committed sins of omission like that hundreds of times, where I fail to acknowledge someone's kindness to me. And I'm still doing it--I added a few new ones just this week. I know what it's like to be so preoccupied with your own inner world that you're completely oblivious to the impression you're making on others until after the fact. Then with 20/20 hindsight, you realize exactly why you gave them that impression, which may be a completely inaccurate representation of your true attitude.

    Sometimes you can undo the damage and sometimes you can't. Other times it can be repaired but only partially, and there's no use pretending the relationship is "as good as new." Still, none of that relieves you of the responsibility for making the attempt, as I obviously don't need to tell you. It shows tremendous class and courage to post a public apology like this. I don't know if I could have done that. I probably would have apologized but done it by private email. Malcolm and Lynette look like warm and friendly people, and I feel confident they will forgive you if they haven't already.