Do we know it when we receive it? What are the components of a perfect apology? Does just "Sorry." qualify? What if you feel a person minimizes their apology by adding an excuse or an explanation? Does it mean nothing, then?
When I feel like I want or need to apologize to someone, I do feel like I am most often already hurting over having hurt someone. I want to make it better. To make it right. I want to heal the hurt and convey that message: "I'm deeply sorry that my words or actions hurt you. I want you to know that hurting you hurts me. And that I wish I could take it back."
I dunno. Maybe there is more "me" there than there should be. Maybe I make it too much about me. Maybe it's ME who finds fault with every apology. Wouldn't that just be wonderful? No. That would just be me. Not so wonderful.
There are no perfect apologies. No pure motives. There is hope in forgiveness, though. I know that. If you don't have mercy and forgiveness, you've got nothing.