Back when I was working with a chinese company in Nigeria
One certain day, I was standing in front of one of the office entrance with my boss.
And a worker was passing by, suddenly the worker’s phone slipped out of his hand fell on the floor and broke.
Immediately, I and those that saw it happened told him “Sorry”
My boss turned to me and asked why we are telling him sorry when it’s not our fault that his phone fell down and broke.
I told him that, It’s proper and normal to sympathize with people by telling them sorry when something bad happens to them.
He was like, that’s strange…you are only meant to say sorry when it’s your fault.
Well, we dropped the discussion and continued with other work activities.
I didn’t even read so much meaning to It…In fact I totally forgot about it until an experience I had in China.
When I came to China, I realised that unlike in Nigeria where we usually easily tell people even strangers sorry when something bad happens to them…even when they cough
Over here in China , it’s not like that.
According to their culture…you only say sorry when you are the cause of the pain or bad happening…anything other than that, forget the word sorry.
Infact when you tell them sorry they ask you why you are saying sorry when it’s not your fault and they never try to interfere …You are on your own.
That’s why my boss back in Nigeria asked me that day why we said sorry to the guy that his phone fell and broke.
Well, I got to learn about this culture of not saying sorry the hard way…
It all happened last year during the winter period.
I went to market to get some fresh food stuffs one certain day,
It has started snowing then, the ground was covered with snow which meant one has to be careful while walking to avoid slipping and falling down.
But unfortunately, on my way back from the market on this particular day…I mistakenly stepped on a slippery surface, slipped and fell down together with the grocery bag I had in both hands.
The content of the Bag poured and scattered on the floor. I managed to get myself up and started picking the contents that poured out.
While all this was going on, people where passing by, they saw me fall, they saw my bag content pour out, they saw me picking them up…and not even one person said sorry 😥.
Everybody was just minding their business like nothing happened.
At that instant, my pain was no longer that I fell down or that my bag content poured out….My pain was that people saw it all happen but nobody showed concern by saying sorry 😪.
I know it’s not their fault I fell down…but a little sorry from them would have been very soothing at that moment 😞.
After I got my things together, I carried myself back to my hostel apartment 🤧.
When I got home, I gisted a Nigerian friend here about my fall expereince and how nobody said sorry amd how I felt pained by that 😔.
She laughed so hard and said that it’s not a big deal.
Well, Just yesterday, that my friend went to the market to buy food stuffs and when she came back she came to me and said
“Faith, Now I understand how you felt that day you fell and nobody told you sorry”
I curiously asked her what happened.
She went ahead to tell me how she had a somersaulting fall on her way back from the market; She fell face down on the road, her bag content spilled and the crate of egg she bought all broke.
People where passing and saw her, and not even one person said sorry…they were passing like nothing happened.
She said she instantly felt pained about that even more than the fall itself…
That was when she realised my pains the day it happened to me.
She jejely carried herself up , packed her stuffs that poured out and started coming home.
When she told me the story I Iaughed out loud and then told her sorry cos I could totally relate 😂.
I don’t really know why we felt pained by total strangers not saying sorry to us for something that wasnt even their fault.
But this got me wondering, If we as human beings could feel bad about strangers not telling us sorry for something that wasn’t even their fault, how much more when your loved ones, people you know or even strangers hurt you and never feel or say sorry.
Have you ever been hurt by someone and all you wanted to hear was sorry, but they never said or felt sorry.
How did that make you feel?
How did you handle It ?
Share your thoughts…
Meanwhile, do you think that we felt bad about the passersby not telling us sorry because of the culture we are used to or we were just being human ? would you have felt same way if it happened to you ?