Because it is the holiday of Yom Kippur (meaning the day of atonement), it seems appropriate to think seriously about its meaning. Whether you are Jewish or not, the steps are relevant because, at one time or another, we all find ourselves needing to atone for our behavior. Atonement means more than making amends, repairing or apologizing. Atonement is a process – that’s why it works.
Here are the three steps for atonement:
1. Recognize the wrong
The first step is the personal recognition that some behavior was offensive, hurtful or wrong towards another individual or group.
The second step is to apologize; that is, to approach the person who has been wronged and acknowledge responsibility for the damage.
3. Behave differently in the future
The third step is the most difficult – behaving differently. It is far easier to say, “Sorry, I was rude,” than to stop being rude and begin to behave in a different way.