Apology Atrocities (revised)

In chapter 5 of Elizabeth Spelman’s Repair, she reveals 2 ways in which we repair relationships: apologies, and reparations. When we usually apologize it is because we have committed an offense to someone. We say “I’m sorry” to show the person that we feel bad for what we did wrong. It is then that the party we have wronged has to either accept or reject the apology. When we repair by using reparations we pay the victim party in some way, shape or form for the damages we inflicted upon them. This is a way of saying “sorry” without actually saying it. The difference between the two is that apologizing needs both the victim and the offender to agree on the apology so they can repair their relationship and move forward. With reparations since they are just giving money both parties don’t have to agree on it, and the offender does not have to feel remorse for what they did. One popular scenario where reparations was used to solve a conflict was right after World War I, where Germany paid the Allied Powers. An example of an apology being used to repair a relationship was when my brother broke my Nintendo GameCube.

Years ago my main way of gaming was with the Nintendo GameCube. I played all kinds of games on it throughout the years, mainly ones based on Nickelodeon. It embodied a big part of my childhood. So when I found that the disc reader was snapped off the console I was irate. Suddenly, the past years of gaming on it all seemed like a distant memory. My brother confessed and apologized, he seemed full of regret about what he did. It took me a while but I eventually forgave him, and played on the Wii instead. He made a mistake and apologized for it, however only when I forgave him were we able to move on.

Right after the Great War ended, Europe was in disarray from all of the destruction caused by the fighting. Since they lost, the Central Powers were forced to pay reparations to the Allies for the destruction caused by the war. Since the war was catastrophic and the death toll was high, the Allied Powers felt that an apology alone wasn’t going to cover 4 years of fighting. As a result, the countries of Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Bulgaria were forced to pay to repair the peace that was lost in Europe. However, they despised paying reparations, and this animosity led to the beginning of World War 2.

The recipients of reparations are under no obligation to have or express any particular emotion toward the payers or toward the intermediaries  who exact the reparations.

This quote means that the party that receives the reparations doesn’t have to show emotion to whoever wronged them. This can lead to both sides not making up and fully repairing their relationship. In the Allies’ case, they felt that Germany paying reparations to them for the damages caused by WWI to be justified. However, they did not show any desire to try to repair the relationship between the Allied and Central Powers. As a result, the animosity between them grew and led to future conflict.

Apologizing and giving someone reparations, while both being used to repair relationships, complete this objective in different ways. Apologizing requires both the victim and perpetrator to agree to the apology, while reparations requires only one party to agree. Apologies are most often used in smaller cases like the one with me and my brother breaking the GameCube. While things weren’t the same as before we were able to come to an understanding and our relationship was repaired. Reparations are usually used for much bigger cases. As for Germany and the countries who had to pay reparations, they didn’t want to do it. The Allies accepted it, but did not care about their relationship with the warring countries. This didn’t fully resolve the conflict and the relationship of the countries in Europe was not repaired.

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Apology Atrocities

In chapter 5 of Elizabeth Spelman’s Repair, she reveals 2 ways in which we repair relationships: apologies, and reparations. When we usually apologize it is because we have committed an offense to someone. We say “I’m sorry” to show the person that we feel bad for what we did wrong. It is then that the party we have wronged has to either accept or reject the apology. When we repair by using reparations we pay the victim party in some way, shape or form for the damages we inflicted upon them. This is a way of saying “sorry” without actually saying it. The difference between the two is that apologizing needs both the victim and the offender to agree on the apology so they can repair their relationship and move forward. With reparations since they are just giving money both parties don’t have to agree on it, and the offender does not have to feel remorse for what they did. One popular scenario where reparations was used to solve a conflict was right after World War I, where Germany paid the Allied Powers. An example of an apology being used to repair a relationship was when my brother broke my Nintendo GameCube.

Years ago my main way of gaming was with the Nintendo GameCube. I played all kinds of games on it throughout the years, mainly ones based on the Nick toons. It embodied a big part of my childhood. So when I found that the disc reader was snapped off the console I was irate. Suddenly, the past years of gaming on it all seemed like a distant memory. My brother confessed and apologized, he seemed full of regret about what he did. It took me a while but I eventually forgave him, and played on the Wii instead. He made a mistake and apologized for it, however only when I forgave him were we able to move on.

Right after the Great War ended, the Central Powers were forced to pay reparations to the Allies for the destruction caused by the war. Since the war was catastrophic and the death toll was high, the Allied Powers felt that an apology alone wasn’t going to cover 4 years of fighting. As a result, the countries of Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Bulgaria were forced to pay to repair the peace that was lost in Europe. However, they despised paying reparations, and this animosity led to the beginning of World War 2.

The recipients of reparations are under no obligation to have or express any particular emotion toward the payers or toward the intermediaries  who exact the reparations.

Apologizing and giving someone reparations, while both being used to repair relationships, complete this objective in different ways. Apologizing requires both the victim and perpetrator to agree to the apology, while reparations requires only one party to agree. Apologies are most often used in smaller cases like the one with me and my brother breaking the GameCube. While things weren’t the same as before we were able to come to an understanding and our relationship was repaired. Reparations are usually used for much bigger cases. As for Germany and the countries who had to pay reparations, they didn’t want to do it. The Allies accepted it, but did not care about their relationship with the warring countries. This didn’t fully resolve the conflict and the relationship of the countries in Europe was not repaired.

Repairs to Live By

Elijah Wilson

Professor Harris

English 110-040

11 September 2016

Elizabeth Spelman’s “Repair” exposes the reader to new ways that people fix things in their lives. Her definition of how we repair things broken gives the word repair a whole new meaning. In chapter 2, Spelman gives the reader 3 ways in which we repair things. The first way is by repairing with the spare parts that are available. Things physical or mental are repaired with no regard to what happened in its past, it is just a patchwork job. A person who does this type of repair is called a bricoleur. The second way to repair is to not only fix the damage that was done but to also restore the object to its original glory. It is repaired with reference to the past, but restored so it looks like the past did not happen. The final way, preservation, is a little similar to restoration in that it repairs with reference to the past. However, preservation allows for the past to still be seen in the repair. The damage done to the object is still visible, but repaired without any original alterations. This is also referred to as “invisible mending” since the repair work is made invisible, rather than the damage being made invisible in restoration. These different styles of repair offer different ideologies for life.

Spelman uses an analogy in order to help the reader understand the different types of repair. She sets the scene in multiple repair shops, with different mechanics using different ways to repair things. The first mechanic Willie is the bricoleur, a mechanic who repairs automobiles with the spare parts around him. He does not care for authenticity, only to fix the car back in working order. The second mechanic Fred cares about authenticity. He wants the car to look like it did before the damage occurred. The repair shop of Louise, Elizabeth, and Irene practice invisible mending as their means of repairing things. They want what they’re fixing to look original as possible, however not have their repair work visible. While these three ways of repair have their differences they still complete the same task. In life, people all have a different way of doing things, and we should take that into account when a problem needs solving.

“We know that there is not a single all-purpose repair shop, that the Willies and Freds and Irenes and Elizabeths and Louises of the world have the different work they do because we have devised a wide range of campaigns to confront the brute facts of the impermanence, imperfection, and fragility of the objects with which we cohabit the world.”(22)

People approach things, break things, and fix things in different ways just like how they experience life a certain way. We should all keep that in mind and appreciate that, for we are all human.