In the link above, Mama M is angsting about apologies from two perspectives: one of considering that she had been over the top in criticising five day a week kindy, and another of educating her daughter on why an apology needs to be sincere and not just a compliance √.
Sometimes the bigger lessons of an apology are that little things that we can do may have longer and more lasting effects that we ever thought…
A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform. She had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stamp on it and really mess it up but do not rip it. Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty is was. She then told them to tell it they’re sorry. Now even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried to fix it. That is what happens when a child bully’s another child, they may say they’re sorry but the scars are there forever. The looks on the faces of the children in the classroom told her the message hit home. Pass it on or better yet, if you’re a parent or a teacher, do it with your child/children.
Kinda trite but totally on the money, a mistake once made, deliberately or as an accident, be it an act of ommission or commission, can never be fully recalled and there will always be a slight edge where the wound once lay…Here’s an example of a good apology that I stumbled across the other night while considering this subject. Although we live rurally I’m no farmer (not one little bit) and so was scanning the pages of Straight Furrow for any potential useful bits of kit and equipment (aka farmer porn!)…
It’s been an awkward year for me, one of lost friends and shifting principles. I began the year as the dairy Farmers’ friend, saying they were doing all they could to clean up waterways.
I reeled off a list of on-farm clean-up actions they were taking to keep waterways clean. I quoted figures from the most recent report of the Clean Streams Accord, among them that casttle were fenced off from waterways on 84 percent of farms.
Then I found this figure was wrong.
Naively, perhaps, I did not realise that the accord relies on farmers honesty to report their own progress towards the agreement’s targets.
When the Primary Industries Ministry finally, after eight years, got round to checking for itself, its audit found a descrepancy. Only 42 percent of farms had fenced their waterways.
It was quite a shock. I beghan to think about the arguments from the Manawatu-Whanganui regional council for their prescriptive One Plan – that they’d had enough of asking farmers nicely to chnage their ways. They hadn’t listened and now it was tiem to force them to act.
After all, regulations had been needed to stop them pouring cowshed effluent into rivers some years earlier – they hadn’t voluntarily stopped that.
So, in March, just as the Land and Water Forum was meeting (unbeknownst to me), I changed my tune. I said:
“it’s seems obvious that we have too many cows in the most sensitive parts of the country – sandy, shingly, free-draining areas laced with streams, close to groundwater and big recreational rivers.
“and I think there’s no doubt that these cows are the main source of the excessive nutrients that are polluting rivers and lakes in these regions. The simple solution is to regulate a reduction in cow numbers.”
I suddenly found I had lost some of my old friends but gained a lot of new friends – all of the Green persuasion.
This was awkward. I’d railed against these people for years and here they were welcoming me as a new ally. I didn’t see it that way – still don’t. I’m not on their side. There’s much they say that I dodnot agree with.
The only side I’m on is that of you, my friend, the reader, who has the right to be as fully informed as possible about this important debate. And that’s been my intention all along. As the information – the science, expert views, farmers’ experience and other facts – has come to light I have given it to you.
~ Over The Fence, Jon Morgan, Straight Furrow, Jan 22, 2013.
An example of a poor apology might be “Hey, Saddam, no WMD, huh? Our bad…” or “Maybe we could’ve thought this Arab Spring thing through a bit more…”
- It’s never too late to apologise but let’s be straight about it…sooner is better than later, and both a preferable to carry on as you’ve always done…how might things be different if:
- People realised that when you have a hammer all you look for is nails and thus it took so long for common sense to break out in the prosecution of the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan?
- The jet heads weren’t in control and the A-10 production line was not scrapped in favour of more fast jets – the same fast jets that are desperately seeking work..?
- Someone said “F-35!! Enough already!!! Let’s can it!”