Wednesday, February 13, 2008

From Little things Big Things Grow

Working in a school I know that "sorry" is a word that is of paramount importance. One encounters it on a daily basis, an hourly basis even. It's apparent to me and has always been, that only the truly arrogant do not see the point in saying sorry. It's the same children that can't give a sincere apology that find it hardest to not only make friends, but more importantly keep friends. It's those that can't say sorry, that also have problems empathising, problems sympathising, problems engaging and problems growing emotionally as humans. Some never say it at all - steadfastly refusing on some technicality never realising that the word is symbolic of mate ship - the one true Australian value. Some children need to understand a situation better before they will utter it, some will take the responsibility on the chin and say it when it needs to be said and others still will say sorry even on behalf of their friends because they know that sorry is not always about blame but also (and most importantly) about comforting someone to the point where they are then able to move forward.

And so, with this in mind the collective we: Australians who cared about taking a united step forwards, waited today for the word we knew was aimed to give comfort, to put a hand on the shoulder of a whole race of people, our oldest people, and say not 'we regret that..' but that we are sorry - because when all is said and done this is what a friend would say to another friend. I'm sorry, you didn't get that job. I'm sorry your mother died. I'm sorry this bad thing happened to you. And yet, this devastating issue of an indigenous generation ripped away from their families many years ago now, had not heard that simple two syllable word...until today.

And it was said.
And it was good.
And hopefully from this little thing big things will grow.

From Little Things Big Things Grow - Paul Kelly (written with Kev Carmody) (A song worth listening to)

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