The Power of Forgiveness

I re-learned it the other evening after seizing upon the power of apologizing.

At a screening, I was seated right behind Tony winning actor/singer/humanitarian Phyllis Newman and cringed every time she swiveled her head because I didn't want her to see me.

I'd written something off-base about her some years ago, and have felt weird about it ever since, wishing I could undo the damage.

(I wrote that she walked out of watching a Broadway play, not realizing it was because of a health problem. She wanted to stay for Act Two, but couldn't.)

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At the screening's after party, I was working the room as Phyllis entered, barreling right into my line of vision.

My heart raced, but rather than duck for cover one more time, I seized the moment and tried to spark a difference.

"Hi, Phyllis," I said, going for the pounce.

"I'm so sorry I wrote something bad about you."

"What?" she said, obviously not thinking about this night and day for six years as I have.

"Some time ago, I wrote something dumb and I just want to apologize. I'm so sorry," I elaborated, cranking up the charm I didn't know I even had.

"Oh, that's OK," she replied, lovingly.

"Life is too short."

Wham--bad feelings evaporated.

Awkwardness avoided.

Avoiding avoided.

Classy lady.

Of course 99 per cent of the harsh things I've written I totally stand by, but it was nice to defuse the ickiness of this one.

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