One particular year of teaching third grade, I had a student who learned a powerful lesson. Her name was Alison and she was a sweet, adorable little girl however she had one glaring fault. She continually apologized for everything that took place in the classroom whether it was her fault or not. During the first few days of school I actually was quite impressed with how she was more than willing to take the blame for any and all problems or infractions. I remember thinking that she was very mature for doing so and initially, I admired her for it. However, as the weeks passed and her apologies were offered on a daily basis, I began to notice a dynamic that was occurring with the other students; they were beginning to mistreat her and it had me concerned. Some of the boys in the class would shove her in line, would knock pencils off of her desk, then glare at her waiting for her predictable apology. Their actions made me realize that I would need to have a talk with Alison to discern some things. I will come back to that talk at the end of this blog, however let me divert for just a moment to another person who we are aware of who is in the apology offering business… our president. Like many others, I have become weary of the continual apologies offered to the world by our president. I have been disheartened to hear him basically say over and over in about ten different ways how sorry he is for this great country of ours. What I have not been able to figure out is exactly why he does so. What precisely is his motivation? I will return to that question but for those readers who are skeptical concerning the facts about President Obama’s apologies, or admissions of supposed wrong doing on the part of the USA, please allow me to state just some of the facts which are the following :

 

President Obama’s remarks to France and Europe on April 3, 2009- “America has shown arrogance..”

 

President Obama’s remarks to the Muslim world on January 27, 2009- “We have not been perfect…”

 

President Obama’s remarks to the summit of the Americas on April 17, 2009- “…at times we sought to dictate our own terms..”

 

President Obama’s remarks at the G-20 summit or World Leaders on April 2, 2009- “….that you’re starting to see some restoration of America’s standing in the world..”

 

President Obama’s remarks at the National Archives, Washington D.C. as he spoke about the war on terror on May 21, 2009- “…we went off course..”

 

President Obama’s remarks as he spoke in France concerning Guantanamo on April 3, 2009-  “…when you start sacrificing your (referring to America) values, when you lose yourself…”

 

President Obama’s remarks to the Turkish Parliament on April 6, 2009- “ The United States is still working through our own darker periods in our history…”

 

President Obama’s remarks for U.S. policy toward the Americas on April 16, 2009- “….The United States has not pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors..."

        There are several other remarks that our president has also made in other speeches that are documented but if I included them, this blog would violate blog length policy which I sometimes border on as it is, so I will stop at this point. Suffice it to say, that our commander in chief, our leader has made a habit of publicly and repeatedly apologizing for the greatest country on earth that I am immensely proud to be a citizen of. There exists a very significant dynamic that is taking place that I have begun to realize, is almost identical to what occurred with little Alison in my third grade class several years ago.

   

        When I realized that she was being dismissed and taken for granted by the other children in the class, I sat down with her one day to get to the root of her problem. I needed to explore her motivation for always apologizing, always wanting to take the blame whether she deserved to or not. One day I asked her to stay behind while the other kids went to a specialty class outside of the classroom and I asked her a specific question. I simply said “Alison, since the beginning of the school year, you apologize for absolutely everything even if you have done nothing wrong and I am having trouble understanding why you do that, can you please explain that to me?”  That insecure little girl looked at me, then looked at the ground , then back at me again and quietly said “I just want everyone to like me.”  I remember gathering her up in my arms, sitting her on my lap and saying to her “ But it’s not working is it? Because instead of liking you more, they are respecting you less because they think you are weak and needy and they are taking advantage of that.”  I then went on to explain to her that everyone is not going to like us all of the time and that she would gain the respect and admiration of her classmates if she stood her ground when it was appropriate to do so. I am happy to say that little Alison listened and grew out of that destructive mindset of desperation for approval.

 

          The more important question and the only one left to ask now though is….will our President?  There is an expression that states “out of the mouths of babes” and how true it is in this case. Alison honestly expressed that she just wanted everyone to like her and that is totally understandable for a young child to first, not have learned in life yet that she does not need everyone’s approval and second, what a terrible mistake she was making in thinking that apologizing repeatedly would somehow gain the admiration that she was so longing for. Instead, the exact opposite is true as she learned that others will consider her weak and desperate and will ultimately lose respect and begin to take her for granted.  I cannot help but wonder , will our president learn the same lesson? If he finally does, will it be too late?  I hope not. No need for any further questions, is there? God help this great and glorious country that we are blessed to be a part of. Reader, I hope that you are praying. I know that I am.