primeministers_wideweb__470x261,0.jpg Of the six living Australian Prime Ministers, today, five of them said “Sorry” to the stolen generation. Reconciliation is a classic example of Grey Hat thinking.

images2.jpeg Kevin Rudd

images-11.jpeg Paul Keating images-2.jpeg Bob Hawke

images2.jpeg Malcolm Fraser images1.jpeg Gough Whitlam

These five parliamentary elders were joined by the Parliament of Australia and by milllions of Australians in the capital and across every state and territory in the Commonwealth. Offices came to a standstill. Classrooms stopped. People gathered in the streets around broadcast outlets. It was the apology that stopped a nation.

Noticably absent, in silent dissent, were John Howard and George Pell.

Australians refer to the stolen generation as those young indigenous Australians who had been forcibly torn from their families, officially by the Commonwealth of Australia, and based on racial considerations.

In history, the only other generations of young Australians that were ever forcibly torn from their families, officially by the Commonwealth of Australia, were conscripted, voteless boys who were sent to fight in wars like Vietnam, and based on political considerations.

images.jpeg Today, the strategy of Reconciliation was invoked in the Parliament of Australia.

It requires wisdom, experience, and even nobility to offer reconciliation, not normally the qualities most on display in a parliament of any kind. By definition, a parliament is partisan. It is multi-vocal and competitive. Rarely is it co-operative and bi-partisan.

But, today, in Canberra, Australia, the world saw a modern example par excellance of noblesse oblige in a Westminster-style house of parliament. Bravo! Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!

It’s now cool to say, “Sorry” in Australia. This generation may well become known as The Sorry Generation. Reconciliation is not always easy and is a nice example of Grey Hat Thinking.

Have a Go! Why not have a go yourself and say ‘Sorry’?

THOUGHT EXPERIMENT: If you were to employ the Reconciliation BVS, to whom would you like to say sorry and why? Post your act of reconciliation below:

Oxford Professor Richard Dawkins makes the point that because you have “the privilege of living after Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Watson, Crick and their colleagues that you could give Aristotle a tutorial and you could thrill him to the core of his being“.

Aristotle.gif So, here’s a thought experiment and post your reply below: in less than 100 words, if you could go back in time and give the great Aristotle a tutorial from your current perspective of 2008, what would you reveal to him that would be a real knockout for old Ari?