Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Apology Demanded" - An Oxymoron?

"Say Sorry!" has become seriously sexy. We crave appeasement.

Malaysia demanded an apology from Britain for massacres in 1948. There were counter-demands in the Ahmad Ismail fiasco. New Dawn PKR leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has made a couple of his own.

Last month, not just an apology, but RM10million was demanded as well from CIMB by a frustrated lawyer. And only today I read about the former University Malaya VC demanding one from the Deputy Higher Education Minister

No doubt the examples can stretch to the moon and back. Notice it's never a 'requesting', or 'asking' - it's demanding

And yet, what is an apology?

Isn't it when someone sincerely wishes to undo the hurt caused to another by symbolically putting one's self under the offended party? Isn't an apology, in fact, a wonderful gesture, a leap of good faith, a yearning for yes, a magical moment of renewal, of injecting new life into a damaged and dying relationship?

An apology is a form of risky humiliation, courageously fired across the bow of estrangement to give friendship a chance. Most importantly, an apology - like mercy - if forced by the offended party, loses all meaning

It's like demanded love. People who demand that others care for them either have no inkling of what caring is all about or, well, hardly care about true forms of caring.

When we demand an apology, then, an apology is the LAST thing we truly wantIt's not a repaired relationship we value. 

We want blood. We want a life. The pound of flesh due the debt which offense has wrought.

(This piece is also published in the Micah Mandate)


Derek L. said...

Another point of view...

When party A demands an apology, it is a psychological maneuver to establish some form of dominance over party B.

al said...

In fact, I think this is the *main* reason why most high-profile demands are made! :)

blogpastor said...

Powerful post. Thanks.

Barbsie said...

Knowing our society, even if an apology is given (voluntarily or under duress) - it'll still not be sufficient. We are one heck of a greedy society!