‘The best way to apologize is with changed behavior’

Published 6:09 pm Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Letter to the editor

From Mike Perros in Danville

Apologies aren’t meant to change the past, they’re really meant to change the future and I don’t intend to offer my apology with an excuse.  There is no excuse for bad behavior, in any context.

I am not perfect, I make mistakes and I realize I have hurt city employee Ms. Joyce Collins. I believe it’s never too late to apologize and its never too late to say I’m sorry. I am human.

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I was raised that when you make a mistake, you acknowledge it, apologize for it if it hurt someone and then learn from it. Over the past two weeks, I have lived as I was raised; I have made mistakes, I have apologized for those mistakes to those affected and I will continue to learn from those mistakes. In fact, over the past two weeks, I have publicly apologized three separate times.

I now apologize, publicly, for the fourth time, and this time, to Ms. Collins again. I was willing to apologize to Ms. Collins personally and publicly but she requested to have no further contact. With no further option available to me, I wrote a letter of apology to Ms. Collins.

I have met every request of Ms. Collins. I pray and hope that the letter of apology I chose to write, at the time of the incident, to Ms. Collins clearly conveyed to her my deep felt regret for any pain that was a result of my careless and thoughtless comments.

I wish to go a step further and offer this public apology to Ms. Collins. However, the best way to apologize is with changed behavior.

I was fortunate to have been raised in a family business that was full of diversity. I learned, at an early age, that it takes all kinds of people to make the world go around. Importantly, I learned the diversity I was raised in is what makes relationships special, interesting and rich in lessons about each other.

Perhaps most importantly, I learned that through honest conversation, we can appreciate and honor our diversity. This formula is what I learned at an early age and I have seen the understanding it brings to relationships, many of which I proudly enjoy to this day.

While I have no control of the dialogue at a national level, I look forward to our local dialogue about diversity. Danville has benefitted from a rich history of inclusion of many citizens of various ethnicities and backgrounds. It is my sincerest wish we continue to learn from each other.