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The Profound Power of an Authentic Apology

Genuine apology goes beyond remorse, says legendary playwright Eve Ensler. In this frank, wrenching talk, she shares how she transformed her own experience of abuse into wisdom on what wrongdoers can do and say to truly repent — and offers a four-step roadmap to help begin the process.

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TED: Ideas Worth Spreading
TED: Ideas Worth Spreadinghttps://www.ted.com/
TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment, and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

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CONVERSATIONS

  1. We must be aware of the fact that in a society where apologies are automatic these are only the first step towards obtaining forgiveness. In fact, if the apologies are truly honest they can restore dignity to the victim and save the transgressor.
    But most people are better at making excuses or denying the mistake they made than apologizing and taking responsibility.
    I believe that in order to apologize effectively you need to recognize responsibility. Basically it is a matter of recognizing that we are wrong. Of course, to do this we must first be aware of what we have done wrong, so it is not worth offering a general apology. Then we must try to repair the damage done, because in this way the person understands that we are really willing to do something to correct our mistake. This aspect is a declaration of goodwill. Finally, repentance, which is intended as a confirmation that we felt really bad. And it is the most difficult detail to pretend because it not only includes our words and actions, but also includes our facial expressions and posture, which must indicate that we are truly sorry.

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