Sunday, October 27, 2013

Is it right to apologize for the past?


From time to time governments and people find it necessary to apologize for events of the past.
What difference can an apology make now?

England sent orphans and poor children were sent to Australia, Canada and elsewhere for a “better life”, but many were abused and ended up in institutions or as laborers on farms. Was the British government trying to do what was best for the children or just getting them out of their way? Who was really at fault? Who knows today?

The US apologized to Japanese/Americans for internment during WWII, to native Americans for lots of injuries, and to black Americans for slavery. 

Should governments apologize for past policies and events? Does an apology go far enough? Can current governments really make amends for actions taken in their history? Can people make amends for things their ancestors did?
I can make an apology for things I have done but I don’t feel that I need to or can apologize for the things my father did. History is full of wrong doings that are long past. We can acknowledge that they happened and even be sad that it happened but never make amends for what another person did.

How far must we go in dealing with the past? We can learn from past mistakes and press on to a better future for all by striving to not make the same mistakes now. Our problem is that we are humans prone to making new mistakes and usually for selfish reasons. We must never stop learning from the past, good our bad, and strive for a better tomorrow.

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