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.
Paul Keating Bob Hawke
Malcolm Fraser 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.
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.
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: