Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management


Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-02-14

Let’s assume that we commemorate annually the unqualified apology for treatment of Australia’s indiginous population by colonists, and the grace shown by those accepting that apology.  What might this mean in a decade, a century, a millenium?

2018-02-13:  The tenth anniversay of the annual Sorry Day will focus our attention on what remedies have, and have not, been achieved, stimulating extra effort where required.  During this time, the focus on the particular issues of the original apology are paramount.  Each Sorry Day puts pressure on politicians to achieve, and the population to demand, the necessary improvements.

2108-02-13:  The centenary of the first Sorry Day should have long seen full remediation and redress of the harm done to the Australian aboriginal community.  Unfortunately, there will doubtless be other things we as a nation have done that we will need to apologise for, just as the sacrifices of wars after 1918 were included in Anzac Day commemorations.  However, the notion of a special day encouraging personal apologies, rather than let wrongs fester, will have started to gain traction, an fulfil a definite psychological need for members of society.

3008-02-13:  The country once known as Australia has long disappeared, as nation-states, anachronistic in a global community, go the way of city-states.  The "Sorry Day" vaguely remembered as the invention of enlightened people from a southern continent, is regarded as the first secular day of significance that fulfils an important human need that had previously been associated with particular religions, another anachronism long disappeared.  This significant day is when people apologise to the others they have harmed (for example, ex spouses), are healed by forgiveness, and strengthen their own resolve to avoid future errors.

I suspect, just as we recognized the humanity of non-European races, and the need for a Sorry Day, sometime over the next millenium we will have blurred out all races, and need to recognize the harm we have done other sapient species, notably our fellow great apes, who will by then be protected and educated to participate in our culture as much as possible.  The shocking practices of dispossession by destroying their homes (forests), of having them as experimental subjects, and neglecting their health and education will have been acknowledged and remedied.

We humans will inevitably give offence to others.  We need something to help us over the hurdle of apologizing to others.  The catharsis of 2008-02-13 in Australia, the hope for healing it has so strongly demonstrated, must not be forgotten.


  • The Jewish Festival of Yom Kippur Eve (not Yom Kippur itself), is associated with visiting people to ask for, and/or grant, forgiveness.  The theory is that you cannot ask for forgiveness and atone for transgressions against a god, before first asking for forgiveness from your fellow humans.

One Response to “3008-02-13”

  1. […] a few days back, pointing back at my "Sorry Day" post from a year ago, entitled "3008-02-13" as contains thoughts on how "Sorry Day" might have hopefully have changed in […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: