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A baseball player screwed up, but his apology can teach us all a big lesson.

Kevin Pillar screwed up. Here's what he's doing to fix it.

A professional baseball player just demonstrated what a good, genuine apology should look like.

After striking out during Wednesday's game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Atlanta Braves, Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar had some choice words for Braves' pitcher Jason Motte, and things got heated. During the exchange, Pillar shouted a homophobic slur at Motte.

Pillar during an April game against the Boston Red Sox. Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images.


It wasn't a good look for Pillar, and he knew it. The next day, he offered an apology to both Motte and the larger LGBTQ community.

Emotions were clearly running pretty high, but the next day on Twitter, Pillar shared a heartfelt message of remorse:

"Last night, following my at-bat in the 7th inning, I used inappropriate language towards Braves pitcher Jason Motte. By doing so, I had just helped extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports or anywhere in society today. I'm completely and utterly embarrassed and feel horrible to have put the fans, my teammates and the Blue Jays organization in this position. I have apologized personally to Jason Motte, but also need to apologize to the Braves organization and their fans, and most importantly, to the LGBTQ community for the lack of respect I displayed last night. This is not who I am and will use this as an opportunity to better myself."

There are three elements to an effective apology, and Pillar's message is a great example we can all look to.

Because let's be real: We all screw up, and there's always an opportunity to grow from our own mistakes. The question is whether we want to. Here's how to do it, according to experts.

Pillar during an October 2015 game against the Texas Rangers. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

Christine Carter, a senior fellow at the University of California-Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, outlines the three key components of effective apologies. Here's how Pillar's statement fits:

The first element of a good apology is an explanation of how you feel. In Pillar's scenario, it's when he said that he's "completely and utterly embarrassed and feel horrible."

The second element is an admission of mistake and its negative impact. Pillar does this when he states, "I used inappropriate language," and adding, "By doing so, I had just helped extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports or anywhere in society today."

And finally, offer to make the situation right. Pillar accepted a two-game suspension without pay from the team, and his salary is being donated to charity. Additionally, he pledged to "use this as an opportunity to better [himself]." Now it's up to him to make good on that promise.

Offering an effective, honest, and heartfelt apology doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be accepted, but it's still the right thing to do.

There's no virtue in a stubborn refusal to apologize for one's shortcomings. It's easy to dismiss people hurt by words or actions as simply being too sensitive. What's harder, and what takes more guts, is owning up to mistakes and putting in the self-reflection needed to become a better and stronger person.

Pillar celebrates with teammates after a September 2015 win against the Baltimore Orioles. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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Small actions lead to big movements.

Acts of kindness—we know they’re important not only for others, but for ourselves. They can contribute to a more positive community and help us feel more connected, happier even. But in our incessantly busy and hectic lives, performing good deeds can feel like an unattainable goal. Or perhaps we equate generosity with monetary contribution, which can feel like an impossible task depending on a person’s financial situation.

Perhaps surprisingly, the main reason people don’t offer more acts of kindness is the fear of being misunderstood. That is, at least, according to The Kindness Test—an online questionnaire about being nice to others that more than 60,000 people from 144 countries completed. It does make sense—having your good intentions be viewed as an awkward source of discomfort is not exactly fun for either party.

However, the results of The Kindness Test also indicated those fears were perhaps unfounded. The most common words people used were "happy," "grateful," "loved," "relieved" and "pleased" to describe their feelings after receiving kindness. Less than 1% of people said they felt embarrassed, according to the BBC.


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She's enjoying the big benefits of some simple life hacks.

James Clear’s landmark book “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” has sold more than 9 million copies worldwide. The book is incredibly popular because it has a simple message that can help everyone. We can develop habits that increase our productivity and success by making small changes to our daily routines.

"It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis,” James Clear writes. “It is only when looking back 2 or 5 or 10 years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becomes strikingly apparent.”

His work proves that we don’t need to move mountains to improve ourselves, just get 1% better every day.

Most of us are reluctant to change because breaking old habits and starting new ones can be hard. However, there are a lot of incredibly easy habits we can develop that can add up to monumental changes.

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