The genuine apology: an endangered concept?

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by George Le Masurier, Decafnation

When civility in modern public discourse declines, it attempts to drag other forms of decent human interaction into the murky abyss of lost social conventions.

The genuine apology, for example, teeters dangerously close to collateral damage. In the Trump world, you never apologize. You just don’t “talk about it anymore.” In the new lexicon, “I’m sorry” are dirty words.

Have you offended the parents of a war hero, an honest judge or a whole race of people? Just announce that sometimes you say the wrong things, which you regret, but don’t be specific.

If you’re an Olympic swimmer who committed a crime in a foreign country and then committed other crimes and told lies to cover it up, obfuscate your apology with sad-sack whining about your personal trauma. Forget the part about pointing a loaded gun at less-privileged third-world people.

But don’t forget when an apology is required.

For example, after 35 years of shirking its legal obligations and moral duty to carry out the terms of Mack Laing’s Last Will, which it accepted along with valuable waterfront property, his personal possessions and his money, the Town of Comox has never officially apologized for its breach of trust.

I’m sure that Laing’s family in Manitoba and Oregon would appreciate the gesture.

The problem isn’t just that the apology has fallen out of vogue. People seem to have forgotten how to do it properly. Lesson number one: atonement isn’t about you.  READ MORE

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