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A National Apology Has the Power to Change the Future | Aeon Essays

A “must-read” article about national apology as a reflection of national values, by Edwin Battistella, author of Sorry About That: The Language of Public Apology (2014)…

“…It turns out that apology at the national level is not so different from the process that individuals go through in apologising for a serious harm. The first step is the recognition that there is something to apologise for, and that it is serious. This recognition – shared, ideally, by the offender and the harmed – informs the making of the apology itself. In its most sincere form, making an apology involves a naming of the offence, a condemnation of previous behaviour, and a request for forgiveness… Those receiving the apology are also changed by receiving a sincere gesture of respect. Honour is restored…” ~ Edwin Battistella

READ MORE: A National Apology Has the Power to Change the Future | Aeon Essays

Be aware. Be objective.


About The Author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She writes fiction about an alpha Bichon named Chester, and his friends–with a dash of humor and a dab of poli-sci. JoAnn worked professionally in the Psychology and Information Science fields. Retired now, she enjoys the creative life.


  1. smilecalm

    A wonderful healing proposal.
    10 years ago I accompanied Thich Nhat Hanh for 3 months
    to VietNam, his homeland from which he had been exiled for nearly 40 years,
    upon his return to offer dharma talks, retreats and 3 grand ceremonies to heal the wounds of the American war.
    A most incredible series of ceremonies in the south (Saigon), the center (Hue) and north (Hanoi). Tens of thousands came out to help heal the familes and hungry ghosts of over 6 million killed.
    Who will offer such ceremonies to heal the deep, deep suffering
    of the American people?

    • JoAnn Chateau

      I don’t know. As a people, we don’t seem to have enough self-awareness, much less compassion.

      • smilecalm

        perhaps so, JoAnn.
        Being so easily led around,
        just imagine what a wise, compassionate
        leader could provide
        a nation in on-going mourning 🙂

      • JoAnn Chateau

        Excellent point — good leaders are important, vital… to a people.

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