“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. 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 recently 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, a way of injecting new life into a damaged and dying relationship?
Isn’t 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 want. It’s not a repaired relationship we value.
We want blood. We want a life (or a huge chunk of it) – the pound of flesh due the debt which offense has wrought.