How to Overcome that Hardest Word

I’ve written several times on the subject of apologies and how many of the things that go by that name really aren’t. I’m several weeks late, but I thought it was only right to highlight a real apology, one you can point to and say, “It’s hard, but it can be done.”

In late May, Jordan McNair, a young man on the football team at the University of Maryland, collapsed during a team workout. He died two weeks later.

A couple of months later, ESPN released a story on the culture at UM football. It was, predictably, not complementary–the word “toxic” appeared in the headline.

It’s Still the Hardest Word

A teacher we know regaled us recently with the story of one of her elementary students telling stories. It seems that she saw said student looking onto a fellow student’s test and then copying the answers. The teacher called her to her desk; she was going to just give the student a quick “Don’t do that again” and send her on her way.

Why were you looking onto your neighbor’s paper? Oh, I wasn’t doing that. Really, how did you get these answers on your paper without showing any of the work? My cousin showed me how to do that.

The Hardest Word

Elton John released Blue Moves, his second double album, the year I started college. The previous year he had fired his long-time bassist and drummer, taken on an unknown keyboardist by the name of James Newton-Howard1, formed his own record company, and simply grown weary of fame and touring. The results were less guitars and more keyboards, less rock and more pop, less fun and more depression.

The album was promptly crucified by critics and fans alike. A friend (and fellow Elton fan) from high school and I car-pooled to UTA our freshman year, and I remember several conversations revolving around the horridness of Blue Moves.