Archive for the Amends Category

I was there…

Quote of the day, from a Salon post, “What my childhood bully taught me

“I want to apologize for all the bullying back in school,” he said.

I’d like to say I was stunned. But we both knew about 12-step recovery programs. He was performing the Ninth Step: “Made direct amends to such people [we had harmed] wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”

I accepted his apology, and thanked him for making amends. And I owned my share in those terrible events so long ago.

That’s right. Although I was bullied, I certainly played a part — I was there. Of course, I can’t expect that the boy I was would react with the knowledge I’ve gained in manhood. But I can pass along what I know now to help others who are going through similar experiences. In reality, the biggest reason I got bullied — and I know many people won’t want to hear this, but it’s a Male Truth — is that I didn’t fight back.


“Dear Rapist…”

(Hat tip: humanspirit. Thank you!)

Dear Rapist

Twenty years after her assault at a college party, Liz Seccuro received a letter of apology from her attacker. The correspondence that followed led her to pursue justice at last

It was late summer 2005 and we were about to set out on an extended vacation with our two-year-old daughter, Ava. “Hey, you got a letter,” said my husband Mike, tossing it to me like a Frisbee. It smelled faintly of vanilla, nice paper. I ripped it open and began to read the very precise, almost feminine cursive script.

Dear Elizabeth:

In October 1984 I harmed you. I can scarcely begin to understand the degree to which, in your eyes, my behaviour has affected you in its wake. Still, I stand prepared to hear from you about just how, and in what ways you’ve been affected; and to begin to set right the wrong I’ve done, in any way you see fit. Most sincerely yours, Will Beebe

Read the whole story…

Despicable Dick and Righteous Richard

AnnaZed pointed me to an interview with the director of this new movie, Despicable Dick and Righteous Richard:

Dick Kuchera has been pissing people off for 50 years. Leaving a bride at the altar, fooling around with his brother-in-law’s fiancee, and spouting foul-mouthed arrogance while buck naked—none of this has helped. Dick now faces the biggest hurdle in his 20-year path to recovery: steps eight and nine of a 12-step program. Packed with a cheeky wit and a list of everyone he’s wronged—from ex-wives to ex-mistresses, abandoned kids to slighted pals—Richard (as he now prefers to be called) sets out on a road trip through America’s Great Plains with grand hopes of making overdue amends and clearing his conscience. Silver-tongued Richard manages to charm his way back into the lives of his loved ones, delivering just the right amount of heartfelt apology needed to elicit sympathy for himself as a flawed, but well intentioned, guy. But when Richard’s self-centered behavior resurfaces, so does the question of whether Dick will ever really change.


Sirhan Sirhan Denied Parole…

Convicted RFK Assassin Denied Parole

Dressed in a prison denim jacket and blue shirt, Sirhan appeared nervous as he entered the hearing room, and he told the panel his breathing was labored because he’s been fighting valley fever.

His hair now graying and balding after 43 years in prison, a clean-shaven Sirhan spoke for much of the four-hour hearing, answering questions from the parole board about the crime and what he has done to improve himself.

“It’s a horrible nightmare not just for me but for you and the whole country,” Sirhan said of the Kennedy assassination and his other convictions for wounding five persons.

On occasion, Sirhan flashed a gap-toothed smile, but as Prizmich announced the parole denial, Sirhan bit his tongue.

Prizmich said that Sirhan needed to reflect more deeply on the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, which he attended in prison from the mid 1980s to early 1990s. Sirhan said he drank four Tom Collins highballs prior to the Kennedy shooting.

Prizmich also told Sirhan to read books and demonstrate improvement.


It’s kinda naughty, so don’t watch it at work — unless you bandy the word “vagina” around at the office. Anyway, this is the perfect answer to anyone who wonders why the 9th step tends to creep people out: