Grey Hat Thinking: The Reconciliation BVS

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:

3 thoughts on “Grey Hat Thinking: The Reconciliation BVS

  1. I agree 100% with the government officially saying sorry and I have been talking with many people about it. I am still finding that people are locked into the mindset of “I didn’t do it or this current government didn’t do it, so why should I be saying sorry?” The answers is that saying sorry doesn’t mean the same thing as saying it’s my fault.

    If you see someone (or collectively a group of people) who have been hurt then surely the most natural thing in the world is to say
    “I am sorry for your pain, I am sorry for the hurt you have suffered and I would like to do what I can to help you recover.”

    That sentiment applies equally well regardless of if it was you or your ancestor who did the hurt or if there was no connection at all between you and the people who have been hurt. It also applies regardless of the intent – some people may genuinely have thought they were doing the right thing and yet as we know people were hurt and have developed scars that have continued to trouble them for the rest of their lives. For that can we not all be genuinely sorry?

  2. I would like to say sorry not only to the “Stolen Generation” but also the thousands of Aboriginals ill treated by do gooding government officials and missionaries and also those victims of massacres and slavery that is so often forgotten or denied.

  3. I would like to say sorry to my son, for making him feel dumb or useless. For allowing my own shortcomings to interfere with his individual pursuit of happiness and self discovery.

Leave your thought

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.