#6: In asking forgiveness, character reformation and general reconciliation, there is an authentic ownership required on all parties' accounts... Forgiveness makes NPR

Each morning and evening I listen to National Public Radio: audiovisual journalistic programming for national news, consistently cultivated with less biased, integrity-minded reporting strategies and publishing.

Though archaic seeming, my "old soul" as some people call it, needs its "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" broadcasts in order to contextualize local Memphis community happenings with those across our nation, world, and also within my own recovery journey.

Today's "Morning Edition" broadcast included Peter Overby's "Why Trump Appointees Refer To 'Optics' When Discussing Spending Scandals," which contextualized the Trump Administrations poor acknowledgement and ownership of scandals with an overall communication trend to apologize for another's reaction to poor conduct rather than take responsibility for that poor conduct and commit to active, long-term change as a true demonstration of reconciliation. I immediately thought of my recent decisions to separate from unhealthy relationships that do not bring life and my adopting an insecurity around those decisions.

I am thankful for NPR programming as its writing practices contextualize so well that its consumers can explicitly notice the report's relevance to what valid emotions and experiences they feel, especially for those like me who grieve very deeply when we continually see a poor character in our national leaders. It gives hope that there are still high standards for humanity and our expectation for common dignity.


Personal connection: Forgiveness makes NPR

In asking forgiveness, character reformation and general reconciliation, there is an authentic ownership required on all parties' accounts; those without fault must authentically own their right, freedom and responsibility to hold all involved accountable by insisting on their vulnerability to the other's wrongdoings, and self-advocate for innocence yet reception of shame, blame or detrimental consequences. There is no moving forward without these pieces.

It can seem selfish, caustic, bitter, self-righteous and hypocritical to separate when others cannot honor such research proven, faith driven, and desperately internationally needed practices, but apologies cannot be forced, and ownership is exactly that: ownership. Taking ownership for others' actions, emotions, hurtfulness and decisions rooted in fear actually glorifies the patterns of deferred ownership. 

Presidents Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump are frequently compared because of their previous Hollywood careers before elected presidencies, the idea of a celebrity president and less than satisfactory approvals later on by American people who see the two presidents as unprofessional, sometimes even clown-like puppet heads for the Republican national party.

Regardless of my opinions on either president's success while in power, NPR identified a distinct difference between individual ownership styles. 

Ronald Reagan assume full responsibility for his and his elected party leaders' position in the 1987 Iran-Contra Scandal, which was a very appreciated move within Americans who experienced government leaders' mistrust within the ongoing Cold War, fear of communism, recent McCarthyism, Vietnam war, Civil Rights enforcement push-back, the physical earth's land based environmental changes and international rise of nationalist government theology. Some historians argue this is what kept American citizens content enough with Reagan during his presidential years but expect to be our current president's demise. 

The point is, we all love to cite and often opt to accept the idea that "to err is human," but explicit ownership prevents an emotional uprising. "I'm sorry you feel that way," or "the facts seem to suggest" or referencing "the optics" is simply not enough.

I agree with the Linguistic Professor Edwin Battistella, the author whom NPR correspondent interviewed in the article's broadcast researching. Battistella argues an apology's need for these traits:

  1. Naming what went wrong

  2. Taking responsibility for that wrong

  3. A repentence, or opposite turning around plan

  4. Fixing the consequences that were suffered

Part of agreeing to "No more reigndear games" is disconnecting for unintelligent, maligned apology cycles that fail to reach any stage of that apology cycle. It is because of how much I love the other person that I am choosing not to empower their non commitment and participation in the exact doings that often lead to eternal downfall. 


Photography © natalie rose eddings