Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Any of you out there remember ALL IN THE FAMILY with Edith & Archie Bunker?
Watching the show, we observed the change in their relationship and their growth, especially in Edith. She portrayed a scatterbrained emotional woman, but she did have strength, and every once in awhile we had a glimpse of it.
There was one show that has always stuck in my mind. It was a scene where Edith was speaking to a tearful Gloria, her daughter, who'd had an argument with her husband, Michael. Edith said something along theses lines: "Whenever we fight, someone always says they're sorry, and Archie always says 'That's all right Edith.'"
Now, you can look at this in more than one way. At the time I felt that Edith was just weak for apologizing for everything even if she was not at fault. I thought that Archie strong-armed her into feeling guilty no matter what, and caused her to be submissive in this way. It really struck home when my mother remarked one time years ago that it reminded her of me. At the time I felt somewhat insulted. And I also realized it was true.
Through the years I have returned to this scene over and over again, pondering not only the words, but what was really being said. Well, after maturing (not growing older!) and experiencing life, I have seen this from another perspective. My heart became involved in how I saw this woman handle her approach to disagreements.
Edith did not apologize because she was afraid or feeling guilty or strong-armed into it. Edith realized that it does not matter so much if you win or lose, but how you play. She was not on any ego trip to prove her point and come out on top. But in the end, she was always on top. She showed that peace of mind, peace of heart, and peace in the family was more important than proving a point, more important than being right.
Edith did not need to prove she was right to be right. She did not need to have someone apologize to her to feel on top. She was a winner and the bigger person for taking the step to end a disagreement.
How many of us would back down?
How often have we stood our ground, felt anger and bitterness, because we wanted to win and have the other person say I'm sorry?
Isn't it good enough to know in our hearts that we can bring an end to hostility with a couple of words?
It is good enough for me.
And I thank Edith for her quiet strength.

1 comment:

  1. You know, I weave through this "who's going to apologize idea" depending on the stages of my life. Probably like most young women trying to prove themselves, I have insisted on being RIGHT.

    You make a good point. At times it is enough to be a peacemaker.

    The older (in age and maturity) I get the more I've finally learned what Mom tried to tell me... "Pick your battles."

    I was probably arguing with Mom at the time and insisting I was right.