The word apology somehow has been overlooked in the Zinedine Zidane head butting justifying and scrutinizing.
There was a time when you could make an ass of your self- referring to a beast of burden. Then came the time when you could put your foot in your mouth. Now a new term will most likely be added to our lexicon of foibles.
A translation of a piece by author Bernard-Henry Levy reminds us that Achilles had his heel, and Zidane had his head. Now we can Zidane someone who speaks to us inappropriately.
Insults and the impropriety of them aside, at some point where do we as adults say words do not justify violence. They are just words. Yes they can cut like a knife. But only if we allow them to do so.
Likewise a simple word, apology, has the power to mend wounds and bring to an end a volatile situation.
This is nothing more than road rage, physical or psychological abuse, and school yard bullying. It can be stopped with a word of kindness. It can be brought to an end by implementing the action of that simple word. It takes maturity. It requires strength of character. It is often the result of a weak mind.
Note: Apologies are important in our speech. There are times when it is not legally advantageous. If you have been in an auto accident and especially in the USA, apology may in the eyes of the law be an admission of guilt.
Your insurance company in the USA most likely had you sign a paper where it said you would not say you are sorry for or accept responsibility in an auto accident, even if you feel you are responsible. Responsibility in life and in the eyes of the law are two different things. Leave it to the legal community to determine responsibility.
You Make Me Mad
That expression only tells me that the one speaking is a weakling of the lamest kind. It comes from a person who would allow someone else to control their thoughts and actions, in effect permitting mind control over them. You only have to be mentally and emotionally weak to allow it to happen to you.
Somehow, I have a hard time equating mental weakness with greatness. People who have great skills and no self control can only aspire to greatness. Their weakness in mind betrays them to what they will never attain.
The reality is we choose to be or feel anything we feel. Yes, our weakened flesh may be prone to being hurt, but how did we get conditioned to that point. Words only have meaning that we allow them to have.
So, if Zidane was a student of Speechmastery, first he would have looked his opponent in the eye and say regarding what ever slur was given, “What an evil thing to think. What an evil thing to say.”
Your first reaction might be that it is not a very manly thing to say in a manly contest with testosterone levels elevated. But what reaction did Marco Materazzi’s words have. They won the game because of Zidane’s weakness.
On the other hand, saying something so, well, (you might think) idiotic and out of place for the situation might have just had an equal and opposite effect on the person who started the process.
Think about it. Marco Materazzi viewed Zidane as a hero. What if that hero now prophesied words that you were evil and had evil thoughts. He could have said any words of kindness that would have short circuited the thinking of the opponent.
Something like, “shhh, the children who are watching.” The first second of conscious thought is “they can’t hear what I am saying…” and you have an edge. Anything but the head butt.
This is only the first problem. The second is the failure to apologize. The contest is not over. It will go on in the annals of sports history. A quick and very public apology could have put this to rest.
It would have been even better if he had done it on the field in front of all the fans with the aid of the referee.
This is a reminder should we ever make a Zidane in our public or private lives. The fastest way to diffuse it is a swift and demonstrative rebuttal. A swift and sincere apology and move on.
If you’re on a platform and you inadvertently make a Zidane with the words you use and especially if the audience lets you know by a groan or sounds of disapproval, immediately say, “That was so stupid of me to say, please forgive me.” Then drop it and move on.
The last thing you would ever want to do is make a joke of the apology. Saying something like, “did I say that out loud?” will not cut it. The apology has to be sincere, honest, and heart felt.
In the end, Zidane failed to follow his own formula for success.
When he was speaking prior to his match for Cannes in 1989, Zidane shared his secret for success. He said,
”That day I discovered that the passion of my life was football and, I thought I could go far through work, responsibility and perseverance.”
So we have three lessons here.
Passion, hard work and perseverance are nothing if we don’t take responsibility for the use of our head.
Reply to insults with kindness or at the least rebut with words that will throw the opposition off psychologically as opposed to a head butt which will end up with us being thrown out.
If you make a physical or verbal Zidane, be quick and demonstrative with an apology.
It is a simple but effective aspect of Speechmastery when we make a mistake.
Profanity when it slips out would be a good time to use an apology. However it is better never to use it at all. Learn more on why this is true.
Enthusiasm would also have to be appropriate to the situation to make the apology even more effective.