Reporting Suzanne Marques
COMMERCE (CBS) — Whether you have made a big mistake or told a little white lie, just step into The Sorry Booth and apologize without that awkward face-to-face encounter.
Websites like Facebook and Twitter make it easy to reach out and connect with people. But they may not seem like the proper place to apologize and reconnect with people.
A new website gives people a chance to repair broken relationships and heal themselves in the process.
In the film “Eat Pray Love” Julia Roberts’ character goes on a journey of self-discovery, making amends for the mistakes in her life on a path to forgiveness.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t have that opportunity. I had to settle to forgive myself,” said Laura Gonzalez, who never had the chance to say two important words to her beloved father — I’m sorry.
“I actually had a really brief and unfortunate conversation with him where I pretty much made a big deal about a plumbing problem I had, she said.
A few days later, he was murdered. For the next few years, Laura was burdened by guilt.
“I didn’t feel like I did what I should have done, I took him for granted and I carried that guilt and shame for a very long time,” Gonzalez said.
She took her own journey to forgive herself, hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. It was then when she imagined the idea for a website, called The Sorry Project, which would give other people the chance to make amends.
“And not necessarily get forgiveness, but at least get that off of their conscience and really let go of their guilt and shame,” she said.
A vintage style booth is set up at the Citadel in Commerce inviting people to film their own apology videos. It is free.
“You wait for the video to load and record yourself. Once you’re in the booth you have 60 seconds to record an apology,” a man demonstrated. “Once you’re done with the apology, you can accept the video, mark it as public or private. If it’s public, it’ll be shown on the website, so somebody that maybe you’ve lost their email address, they can go to thesorryproject.com and search for their name.”
Mark it private and only the person you send it to will see it.
“You can share it on Twitter, Facebook or email if it’s more of a private type of apology.”
We talked to a couple of people after they recorded their apologies.
“I feel better. It’s kind of like a weight has lifted and you can kind of go with it wherever you want after that,” said Josh Hillinger.
“When I was going through it, I was thinking, ‘Wow, I could do this to a bunch of my friends who I’ve hurt and family members,’” said Brody Abel.
Abel has a friend he said could benefit from recording a video to help him forgive himself.
“His father went over to Afghanistan and they had a fight before and then his father… and uh, he was a good guy and we never got to see him again,” he said.
The website is monitored daily to make sure questionable videos are promptly removed.
To enter an apology of your own, visit thesorryproject.com.