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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

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About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


  • 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?

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