“I’m Sorry”

Someone told me a poignant story the other day.

She lives in Ireland, and sometimes works with people in prison there. Not so long ago, she said, one of these people said to her: “You’re American? I’m sorry.”

I don’t have any more context, either, and of course I’m tempted to jump to a conclusion, too — yes, everything is awful, or how could someone say such a thing?

But stick with it: how does the sentiment strike you? And, without debating in detail, what’s the insight in it?