In principle, to amend is to change. To make amends is an action, not just a thought or a statement.
When we have done someone wrong we might apologize. Indeed, “I’m sorry” can be very helpful. At the very least it acknowledges wrong doing.
More than apologies, amends go further in strengthening relationships and building trust. To make an amend is to actually try to mend a past wrong (put things back the way they were, clean up the mess, give money to pay for something lost or broken) and/or put something (a new attitude or a new behavior) in place to help prevent a similar wrong from happening again in the future. To make an amend is to do something or change something; it’s more than to say something.
Practical Tip: When you have done someone wrong make an amend. To start an amend with words is okay as long as the words are something like, “What can I do to make things right?” To complete an amend requires follow through with an appropriate action. Actually do something. Change something.
Making genuine amends liberates the individuals involved and strengthens the group as a whole.
– Craig Freshley