Three of the most useful words of the past two decades
I miss the good old days when an innocent mistake could be solved with a simple, "Oops, my bad!"
Seriously, I remember when you could scuff someone's shoe. And even though that person would get angry, if you could muster a quick, sincere "oops, my bad" it defused the situation.
I remember when someone could cut you off in traffic. And even though you wanted to tear 'em a new one, if they made the universal gesture of peace and humility - the smiling half shrug/half wave - you felt a (sometimes grudging) flood of calm. You still frowned, but you let it slide and lost your bluster.
I remember when you could: forget to hold the door open for someone behind you, over dry and shrink your girfriend's favorite blouse, accidentally tape over your boyfriend's favorite boxing match, bump someone with your grocery cart, make a well-intended but false accusation, or spill coffee on a co-worker, and you could just say "oops, my bad!" And all you had to do was really mean it. And that was enough. It may not have fixed your mistake, but it soothed the person you wounded.
How many times might some international incident, the result of some cultural or political misunderstanding, have been solved if one or both parties had practiced the spirit of "oops, my bad?"
Righteous indignation, sudden defensiveness? They're diseases. They thrive in an atmosphere where those three words are never uttered.
Sorry, this post is longer than I intended...oops, my bad!