OK, so I don’t really believe one really should never ever apologise or explain BUT when I look at how public discourse is currently framed, I can’t help but wonder whether apologising and explaining more often than not makes things worse.
You would have to have a heard to stone not to feel sorry for young people this year. They have lost their summer, a big chunk of their education, their ability to move about freely and, now, an accurate assessment of their academic achievements for those who were supposed to take exams this year.
It’s that classic job interview question, ‘describe your weaknesses’ and the classic response ‘I’m a perfectionist’ or ‘I expect too much of myself’. We all know that the interviewee has a range of other weaknesses but of course they aren’t going to list them when applying for a job. Once they are ensconced in the role their true character emerges and everyone just has to live with it.
I have often talked (too often you might think) about how lengthy one’s personal strategic plan can end up becoming. We have a future in our mind’s eye and we can see the steps we need to take but it really never is as straightforward as that and I have been reminded of this in recent weeks for all sorts of reasons.
I’m fascinated by people’s priorities now that lockdown has eased a little. Besides the long-awaited chance to see family and friends more easily and in larger numbers, haircuts, pints in pubs, meals out and sport have featured very heavily both in the press and in conversations. I have been pleased to go to London a couple of times (much as I have loved spending time at home with my family) for a change of scene and a chance to catch up with people who aren’t related to me.