There seems to be a big ask for apologies these days.
We ask politicians to publicly apologize for bad personal decisions, celebrities must use their social media platform to apologize for offending content and actions, the Pope is asked to travel to Canada to apologize for past actions among many other requests for apologies.
Apologizing is a huge and needed action, but not one that is always associated with recovering from grief or wrong doing. In fact, it rarely is.
The larger and more needed action is forgiveness. They say that to not forgive is like drinking poison and expecting the accused to die from it. In actual fact, not forgiving is killing the resentment-filled individual.
It is possible to recover from trauma and wrongs of others by simply pursuing forgiveness in yourself. Forgiveness does not even require interaction with the accused. It is a personal journey of moving through grief and into recovery from your grief.
What happened with the residential schools is unjust and devastating and should not be forgotten or covered up. But how long are we going to hold people accountable, asking for apologies and still hold resentment and anger towards them after the apology?
We must forgive. We must move through grief and back to unity, or create the unity that has always been missing.
I would love to see forgiveness as part of Canada's history. I would love to see Canada set an example of the unity that can happen through forgiveness. I would love to see this country heal.
I, for one, am tired of the placated apologies from politicians and people of interest who really don't mean anything they say, but are just speaking to save themselves and their careers.
I've also heard it said that being sorry is being sorry for getting caught, but being remorseful and repentant is a desire to change.
Are these apologies said with remorse and repentance or are they just sorry they got caught? Either way, it is not the apology that allows us to recover and move on from grief, it is forgiveness that allows us to do this.
Shonah Marie Nykiforuk