On their own, the value of most appeals for compassion today amount to nada.
The unrepentant gibberish commonly offered up as apologies in modern times is usually comprised of crafty statements and guilt avoidance language carefully garnished with side steps from legal.
And occasionally tears…
But no matter where they are peddled or by whom, most Big Wig apologies burped and regurgitated on demand by moronic mass media have lost their oomph and many no longer cut mustard at all.
Clearly, the diminishing returns on today’s apologies reveal that forgiveness carries a fluctuating value similar to currency and most folks know that if there’s lots of money available it tends to become worth less.
This inflationary effect obviously applies to the apology supply because a cynical global population are withholding condolences like never before and every time another sorry is added to the pile it buys less and less solace.
The Good Ship Sympathy Sailed Yesterday
As I write this story in May 2011, mercy is even becoming more difficult to bow into existence for the Japanese government who are struggling with a major public backlash stemming from two months of nuclear crisis bungling.
It’s a pretty strong statement when even the Japanese, who historically have accepted the cultural and psychological need for forgiveness, start balking at too many apologies from too many people.
By contrast, this is also why it can be very difficult to get corporate or political officials to provide an apology because they litigiously understand that offering too many diminishes all of them.
“There is a strength in the union even of very sorry men.”
Homer (~700 BC), The Iliad
Never-the-less, people accepting admissions of wrongdoing today want more than just verbal humility – they want a return to normalcy and evidence of proactive effort towards a non re-occurrence of the problem.
Victims yearn to experience the kind of commitment to redress that can only emanate from an admission of deep shame by the apologist but it must be coupled to a burning desire to collaboratively implement every adjustment needed to make things right again.
None of this addresses blame or fault finding – exactly the opposite – because once raw remorse is unleashed, healing begins.
Encouraging apologists to experience and act upon their shame not only ups the ante when panning for forgiveness but also improves honest dedication toward meaningful solutions which can only originate from deep self-abasement.
Maybe then genuine atonement can make a come back.
Thank you, friend.
Now is likely not a good time to be making fun of the way Japanese apologize but uh, when would be?
Below are a few links about countries, corporations and people who are very sorry. And ONE DUDE who is NOT.
The Tokyo Electric Power Company is Sorry:
March 14, 2011 Tepco very sorry about nuking the locals
March 29, 2011 TEPCO apologizes again and again
March 30, 2011 TEPCO President Hospitalized, Chair of TEPCO Apologizes
April 23, 2011 TEPCO president apologizes in Fukushima
Google search for TEPCO APOLOGIZES returns 1,310,000 results May 16, 2010
The Canadian Government is Sorry:
September 1988 Canada Apologizes to Japanese for WWII Internment
April 2010 GG apologizes for Rwandan genocide inaction
Google search for CANADA APOLOGIZES returns 3,250,000 results May 16, 2010
Huge List of International Political Apologies from 1077 to 2002
Corporations are not AS sorry but:
These people are sorry, too:
Twenty one famous people say they’re sorry & most of it isn’t even our business
and last, but not least…